If you ask my kids, four decades is an eternity. As far as they are concerned, the only difference between their dear old dad and a fossil, is my ability to get up out of my easy chair—albeit with much more cracking, popping and groaning with each passing day.
Time, after all, is relative. In my home state of Oklahoma, which only became a state in 1907, the “oldest” anything isn’t really that old. Especially when you consider the age of things in states like Delaware, New Jersey or Pennsylvania who became states in 1787. Those states, in their own right, are relative newcomers compared to things over in Europe like the Leaning Tower of Pisa which was completed in 1372.
The point to all of this is not a history lesson. The point is, the actual passage of time is not nearly as important as what you did with that time. Two things happened during this Herd Book that caused me to spend more time than usual thinking about the concept of time.
The first of which is, 2013 marks the 45th anniversary of the formation of the North American Limousin Foundation. Looking back over the history of the breed in North America I marvel at what the founding fathers, as well as the current Limousin breeders, have done in such a relatively short amount of time. After all, we aren’t dealing with chickens or hogs here. As anyone trying to make genetic progress in the cattle business will tell you, the generational interval of bovines can be a frustrating obstacle to maneuver around.
The second subject causing me to ponder the concept of time, is not nearly as positive. Not to be morbid, but in the time it has taken our staff to put together this issue, I know of 12 people associated with the cattle business who have passed away. Which I can tell you, is a ridiculously large number for any 45-day period of time. Some were sick, some were elderly, some deaths were expected and some were accidental. But nonetheless, reading that many obituaries and attending that many services begins to wear on a fella. And I won’t even begin to tell you about the half dozen or so cattle friends who are fighting cancer or some other major ailment.
It was the obituaries themselves that got me to thinking, and in some cases, marveling, at the tremendous number of accomplishments people made over their lifetimes. It didn’t seem to matter whether they had walked this earth 50 years or 80, every single one of these people had accomplishments to be proud of.
So whether you are breeding cows, patching fence, or sitting in the drive-thru with a car full of bickering children after a long, hot day at a cow show, I encourage you to make the most out of your current situation.
I hope you enjoy reading the 45th anniversary edition of our Herd Book as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you.
In the words of my friend, and the late A.J. Smith, editor of the Oklahoma Cowman.
’til next time.