Today deserves a Wahoo!

I made it back to SLO (San Luis Obispo, where I go to school at Cal Poly) on Saturday in one piece and have finally begun to settle in! I unpacked and now I’m in the process of re-organizing my room. When cleaning out my bookcase for the new quarter I found a journal that I used to write in. While snooping through it I came across an entry I wrote in May of 2011 that I’d like to share. Here’s a little background to the excerpt:  I was born and raised on a ranch in Livermore, CA that no one can ever replace! Unfortunately, my freshman year in high school my beloved ranch was plowed under in order to build multi-million dollar homes for folks to purchase and became an incorporated part of the next town over.

“That sidewalk where the old man walks his dog used to be where my mama’s chicken coop stood. That 4-way stop the neighborhood kids just roll through was the place where I first learned to drive a pick-up truck at 8 years old. I could barely reach the floor board, and seeing over the steering wheel–forget it. But the ranch that raised me is ten feet under, that big ol’ city housing tract.

When I grew up I left my rocks at the door, got mud on my clothes helping my daddy in the garden, and I skinned my knees on that long gravel road. I knew what mooed, what oinked, and what neighed. But that’s all under that big ol’ city housing tract.

This is a picture of a neighbor's cow herd that still grazes next to the now busy housing tract.

This is a picture of a neighbor’s cow herd that still grazes next to the now busy housing tract.

That 4-car garage stands over where I once pogo-sticked 1,000 times during a middle school spring break. Those cow trails I walked on are no more. Instead there’s a golfer yelling, “Fore!”

That big ol’ city housing tract may have knocked down our house, our barn, and our shops, but it can never knock down what I have inside of me from the ranch that raised me.”

This brings me to the second principle in our Cowboy Ethics series.

2. Take pride in your work.

While this excerpt may never be published anywhere – and I wouldn’t necessarily mean it to be – I take pride in the story that is behind it, because it is MY story. That’s the beauty in all of us. We each have our own story to tell. Whether it be your connection to agriculture or why you love a certain past time, we all have our own ways of expressing our feelings and stories and we have to be proud of ourselves before we can share!

Here’s the challenge:  Do you have a story that could be the golden nugget to helping someone understand more about agriculture, or anything for that matter? All you need to do is take a minute to sit down and hash out a plan. How will you tell the story? What are the most important aspects of the story? What will be your take away points? Ask someone close to you whom you trust to take a look at it, and then- wala!- a story is born. YOUR story.

We can all take pride in our own “cowboyisms”. Now it’s time to share! GO!
~Mal the Beef Gal

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