Updated: Dec 6, 2019
Growing up on this cattle ranch has been a total blessing. After this Thanksgiving Holiday, it reminded me on what I am thankful for, my roots and where I am going with it all today. What got me here is just that, how I was brought up. I was raised in a this brutal, yet caring environment my whole life and literally loved every second of it. I wish I could have done even more as a kid.
I basically begged my parents if I could raise animals in 4H. Isn't that a weird thought? I lived on a cattle ranch and I BEGGED to get involved in 4H at age 11. My dad was brought up on this same ranch and he was burned out of 4H and FFA and wanted nothing to do with it. Luckily, I was able to convince him to let me raise a pig. Then years followed with more pigs, lambs, rabbits and horse showing. Notice, I never raised a steer. That is where my dad drew the line. I couldn't get enough about learning about livestock, animal health and the meat industry. Especially, cows.
After high school, I was not sure what exactly I wanted to do with myself. I played soccer a few years and took general ed classes. I was at a point were I wanted to transfer and go to school at an Ag College to pursue Ag Business or start prereqs for Vet School. However, those hopes and dreams didn't play in that favor for me. Instead, I got my AA in Animal Science at the community college I went to in San Diego and received my Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) license to assist in animal medicine. I truly love this career but deep down, I wish I could of pursued my original dreams. Ag business specifically.
My husband, Bryce always tells me that I don't need to go to school to learn about certain subjects that intrigue me. It is true. I could easily look this stuff up on Google nowadays. I just love to learn and I am always on the search for more, more, more. Plus, how could I be successful? So, I have started my journey to becoming just that, more.
This basically started with podcasts. I never really knew what a podcast really was until somewhat recently. Bryce would rave about his "Meat Eater" hunting podcast and tell me every other day about what he learned. Then, my mother-in-law would tell me about her "Crime Junkie" podcast she was addicted to. Friends would talk about whatever podcasts they were into. So, I thought to myself... maybe I should listen to something and learn a thing or two, too.
First thing I looked up. Cows. I flipping love cows. Everything about them. They are cute, have personality, make my family business a functional form of income, and so much more. People think it is interesting that we raise cattle in San Diego County. You would imagine I raise cows on the beach in my bikini and boots. Nope. First of all, you won't find my in a bikini and boots unless I was drunk and offered like 10k to do so. Secondly, San Diego is super diverse in the geographical landscape and way of life.
Anyway, back to podcasts. I just looked up "cows" one day and up popped a few things that I hooked onto. "Working Ranch Radio" was the first one I enjoyed. All about the cattle industry, news, cattle markets and more. Another one I loved was "The Ranching Brunette." I love the host, Loagan Robinson's approach. She's a first generation rancher in Montana finding her way through the industry by interviewing successful women in ranching and giving her take on how to get onto a good path to start. So good. I learned a ton from both of these podcasts and I'm a 4th generation cattle producer.
Which is what leads me to this. I want to learn MORE. I want to be MORE. The older folks are great resources. However, they can also be set in their ways and don't want to change (my dad) even though the industry is sometimes suffering. We, as people in agriculture are in a spot were we need to think outside the box, speak up for ourselves, and educate the general public in a kind and informative way about this industry inside and out. We need to work together. We need to support one another. We need to be MORE.
I'm still making my way through my own journey. However, I guess what I am trying to say is that I want to be the person I perceived myself to be 6 years ago when I was thinking about going to Cal Poly SLO, Pomona, Chico or Davis. I want to learn more through others and through my own research. I want to share this love of the industry with my kids. I want to make a difference and I want to open eyes. I want to be the best me and I want to be MORE.
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