BY BEN NEALE, YPC Ex-officio Chairman
A few weeks ago I was stacking dominoes with a friend of mine’s young son so that we could knock them down. It quickly became more fun for him to surprise me by trying to knock them down before we were ready. I would always try to counter this by removing a few of the dominoes somewhere up the line to stop the falling. We had a good time doing this for a while but after we finished I really hadn’t given it much thought until a few weeks later after another conversation.
A little over a year ago I moved to where I currently live. I have a close friend that is also in the beef business locally and was born and raised in this area. He’s recently acquired a quite a bit more rent ground and I was asking him how he had done it. We were talking over the usual…corn prices, feeder cattle, drought, hay etc. and he basically came about to saying he really didn’t know. However, through the course of the conversation it was learned and to put it simply, it was the folks he had grown up working cattle for that are now retiring. As they retire they think of him and the help he provided them when he was younger. Sometimes for pay, sometimes for free if the need was there. Now they know what he has chosen to do with his life and more importantly who he is as a person now and they want to help him.
Now to how these two stories link… at least for me. The substantial things we do can always lead to opportunities and outcomes down the line, like dominoes. By substantial I mean helping others, providing service, involvement in organizations etc. In short, building relationships. On the other hand, not doing something when we should can be like removing a domino in that line. We just may not be able to see the effect of either outcome at the present time until other things fall in to place.
I would like to encourage everyone to get involved in life and be engaged. Part of the thought for this blog came from a conversation I had with what should be a group of young men but by their current actions are only old boys as they explained their wasting of the upcoming weekend. One of the 13 virtues of Benjamin Franklin is Industry. It states, “Lose not time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.” I’m not saying never relax, but relaxing, in and of itself has purpose. After that, get back to work! There are so many distractions these days that we can waste time and efforts being about and achieve nothing. Many people often spend time talking about how poorly some leaders lead, yet they do nothing themselves. I encourage you to not being one of those people but be someone that chooses a life that is different.
In summary, and especially since this is the blog for the Young Producer’s Council, I encourage you to become involved in YPC if the beef industry is something you are passionate about and you have enough initiative to help improve it. You may not currently see where the benefit of your service will come back to you. However, somewhere down the line it probably will but that should not be the primary motivation. There are a variety of ways to help from task forces to officer positions, blog writers etc. You can find out how to help by contacting through Facebook. It’s that simple. If you choose not to be involved with YPC then be involved wherever you are. Be engaging with your family, your friends, your church or whomever you contact. Whatever your reasons for not being… stop it or move past it and do something!
“A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. ”