Dust In My Coffee

Loving my life as a woman in agriculture one sip at a time

“You and me going fencing in the dark,
Stretching wire out and tamping in posts
Where the cool winds blow
Finishing the fence with the pickup lights
We’ll be eating our supper late into the night
There’s no movin’ slow!”

My parody on “Fishin’ in the Dark” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band could be compared to some of the parodies the Peterson Farm Brothers have created.  The fencing parody came out of a recent experience I had with Steve in getting some projects done before winter set in.  I was reminded of that experience as I started thinking about all the hard working cattlemen and women I will see this week in Nashville for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Convention.

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This post, no pun intended, is a salute to those hard working men and women that come from a variety of farms and ranches across America with the common goal of putting beef on your table.  I have enjoyed hearing numerous stories from friends I have made from Florida to Idaho and many places in between.  At one event a few of us spent about 15 minutes going up and down an elevator at Embassy Suites as we listened to stories from a friend in Oklahoma.  Even though our farms and ranches are a diverse as our personalities are we share a common love for our families, the land and for our cattle.

During the convention we will hear the winner of a contest sing the “Star Spangled Banner” with such gusto that the hair will stand up on our arms.  There is no lack of love for the United States of America among this group as we make sure to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of our board meeting and show our appreciation to all who work to defend our constitutional rights.

This is a recent photo of the flag on our farm taken
early in the morning that has become one of my favorites.

 I will spend most of my time in meetings for the CBB or the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.  I join approximately one hundred other men and women from across the United States to work specifically on Beef Checkoff work.  The Beef Checkoff is a program that collects $1.00/head of every beef animal that is sold and pools that money for research, education, information and promotion about beef.   I won’t give you all the nitty gritty details so if you want to learn more about the checkoff you can go here.  What I can tell you is that I get to work side by side with some very dedicated people this week that will be focusing on you, the consumer, and how we can give you the best eating experience every time you eat beef.

I met up with long time friend, Becky Kreiekemeier,
for supper right after arriving in Nashville.  We
joked about having to travel so far to see each other 
when we only live about 50 miles apart!

The dedication of farmers and ranchers at the volunteer level flows naturally from the dedication they have at home to their farms and ranches.    The saying “hard work builds character” is not one to mock.  There are numerous sources that site the value of working and how it builds virtues.  I, myself, have learned many virtues by working on the farm (I will save those for another blog).   

My dad and mom were the first models of the value of hard work.  They passed down virtues like responsibility, dedication and commitment to my five siblings and I.  Their work ethic and the virtues we were taught can be seen in my siblings, in their children and in my children.  When I met Steve I could see the same hard work ethic and similar virtues that were evident in his family.

We, as farmers and ranchers, join each one of you in the day to day struggle of working hard at jobs that feed our families and allow us to grow in virtue.  Together, we bring the virtues we gain by working into our family and communities to make the world a better place!

You and me going fencing in the dark,
Working each day at an important job
Where the virtues grow
Cattlemen and women join you in the fight
Putting supper on the table for the children each night
There’s no movin’ slow!”

4 thoughts on “Fencing in the Dark

  1. Joan says:

    Thank you, Alex. Great play on words as well! Have a good day!


  2. Hey, I really like the poetry in the start. And surely working on farm is no easy job. I wish you good luck and keep us posted.


  3. I have amazing but hard working stories of farm people too and I can feel the life you guys live. I hope you are prepared for seasonal changes. Good luck.


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