I’m writing to you from the snow-capped mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho! Actually, they are more like snow dusted but it sounds more exciting the other way… But I am sitting here waiting for my baby to fall asleep and thought I would take a minute to come talk to you!
Every year we take off this week to be a part of the Idaho Cattle Association’s annual convention. It’s partly because it’s the closest thing we get to a work trip but also because it is a terrific place for a cattle producer to get a little extra help. Here’s why… ICA is an organization created to support cattle ranchers at the grass roots level and take action wherever and however it is needed. Ranchers are busy keeping up with all the problems at home- fencing, feeding, calving, haying, ect., that they don’t have time to face the big picture ranching problems- fighting public lands issues, water rights, endangered species stuff, ect…
A few years ago, the government was attempting to regulate what work kids could do on the ranch. They were claiming that kids were too young to operate tools, machinery and work with animals. Yes, it may be surprising at how young our kids do start working on the ranch but when they are totally immersed in the lifestyle, its actually more of a challenge to keep them from helping! My seven year old son BEGS to help chase cows and rides a horse for hours. My four year old daughter stood by the chute for hours loading the tagger for her dad because SHE wanted to. Kids learn by watching, so naturally, ranch kids learn quickly how to do the work that they see happening all around them.
It was organizations like ICA that were able to stop the regulations from actually becoming reality. They knew what we needed as ranchers and, more importantly, they knew what to do. They have the contacts, the research, the lobbyists, the time and the knowhow.
The ICA not only advocates for ranchers against those that try to tear down the industry, but they do a lot to promote beef and keep ranchers up to date with the best minds, technology, and resources to keep ranching efficient and up to the demands we face.
Aside from getting a little vacation and a little knowledge, this year we have a few different reasons to be here. One- The Rancher has been asked to be on the ICA board to represent our area. He is a little nervous but also excited for the opportunity for a little growth. The second reason we really needed to be here is that I get to present on my blog and you!
Did your jaw just drop?
Ya mine did too when I was first. Before I knew it, I answered yes and then I thought, “Um… do they know who I am? Do they know how little I really know about this?” But none the less, I am here ready to present tomorrow and pray that it all goes well.
I’ll be sure to update you when I am done… Wish me LUCK!