The good news is by the time you read this column the month of September will be upon us. Which hopefully means a break from the heat and the beginning of some fall moisture.
The bad news is, as I write this, it is the end of July, the mercury reads 114, and I can’t remember the last time it rained.
It’s not just here in Oklahoma either. A glance at the U.S. Drought Monitor Map is downright depressing. As of July 31, The USDA had declared 1,600 counties in 32 states eligible for government assistance for losses caused mostly by drought. I’m feeding hay already, as are many folks I’ve talked to, and as you would expect, cattle prices have taken a major hit.
But you know what? When you are at the mercy of Mother Nature, there isn’t much you can do but grin and bear it, so let’s move on to some positive news.
The 2012 version of the National Junior Limousin Show & Congress marked my 18th year to attend the Limousin breed’s summer family reunion. In my opinion, it, and National Western Stock Show, are the two can’t-miss events of the year. Ironic don’t you think? One is at a mile-high elevation in January and the other is usually somewhere in the Midwest in the heat of summer.
Who is for moving the National Western to July and Junior Nationals to January?
At any rate, it amazes me that no matter what the weather conditions are outside, the people in this breed rally around the cattle and do everything in their power to make sure the breed has great events.
If my math and history are correct (both of which are suspect), Des Moines, Iowa, has hosted the Junior Nationals a record six times in the 36-year history of the event. In all the show-box chatter, I ran across several parents who said their first Junior National as an exhibitor was in Iowa and now their children’s first Junior National was in Iowa. And in almost every case, grandma and grandpa were sitting right there, nodding their heads up and down in agreement. I don’t know about you, but to me that is cool.
Throw all the clichés and colloquialisms out the window, our youth are the future and I can say with 100 percent certainty, the Limousin breed is in very capable hands. Of course our juniors have a great set of role models to learn from. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and in this instance, I think that is a very good thing.
As a general rule, people in agriculture aren’t in it for the recognition and pats on the back, but the members of the Iowa Limousin Association, the Iowa Junior Limousin Association, the North American Limousin Foundation staff, the North American Limousin Junior Association board of directors, as well as all the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, should be very proud of the examples they are setting and the young people they are shaping.