Reflection and Opportunity

June 7, 2021

by Wyatt Lawrence, NJHA Membership Chair

Farmers and Ranchers across the United States are gearing up for another beautiful summer. Crops are in the ground; cattle are on pasture, and many can check the box that they survived another winter. The change of the season is the closing of one book and the start of another. New genetics that have been purchased are beginning to go to work and we start to look to the future calf crop on the ground.

To me there is nothing better than taking a walk in the pasture in the evening and looking at calves. It brings me back to a question that my brother always asks, “Are you going to go look at the future?” This may seem corny in many ways and very literal in others because the calves I am looking at are the future of our operation. However, I started to ask myself why I like to look at the calves. I see it as more than just looking at how they are growing but a time of reflection, getting to look at where our cattle have been in the past and thinking back to the generations that had built our herd into what it is, while dreaming of the opportunities ahead for the latest calf crop. The approach we take to looking at the next generation of calves should be that same approach we take to life. We should have both a time of reflection and time of dreaming.

Spring is a transition period for many, from graduations and deciding what will happen next in their education, or dreaming about the next generation of your herd. Whatever situation you are in it is important to take time to look back on the success that you have had that brought you to this point. Find the mountain top moments that you loved and the valleys that you wish would have gone better. We can learn a lot from where we have been helping determine where we want to go, by reflecting on the goals that you have set before. Then think of the different opportunities that lie before you and where they could take you. Walk out the steps that you want to take in your life and the activities that can help you to reach those goals. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box because when it comes to opportunities there is no right or wrong answer, there is only your personal goals. Dreaming and goal planning is important to your success. I heard it said this way recently, “proper preparation leads to effective execution.” The more you plan for your next steps the better the results will be in the long run. So the next time you are enjoying a walk or drive in the pasture, take some time to reflect and dream about opportunities that are in front of you. The transitions that come with spring and summer make it a time to plan your next steps.