Happy Friday all,

Have you ever experienced a moment in your life when you had to make a large, very important decision quickly, all by yourself, and your hands start to get a little bit sweaty and your heart starts to race? I’m almost positive this has happened to all of us at one point or another, but today I’d like to share with you a story that involves this situation and my friend Madison.

I met my friend Madison last September at the California Beef Ambassador Contest. She was the Tennessee CattleWomen’s Junior Contestant, and I got a chance to get to know her when I was mentoring the Junior Contestant holding room at the contest. I came to love “my Juniors”, as I began to fondly call them, as the day went on. These young folks have the personalities, drive, and passion that could move wind, water, and soil all at once! I know they will be going places with their passion behind the beef community!

That being said, today, I came across Madison’s Facebook status, and with her permission, have decided to share this wonderful story with you. Take a read of her status below:

“[Today,] I noticed a cow with a lifted tail, usually means the baby is coming! I then noticed it was a show heifer, GaGa, also her first calf! I ran down to the barn got what I thought I’d need, the 4-wheeler, halter, and my trusty cell phone! I found her sitting down, eating grass! Good sign right. I then noticed the calf’s feet were out. I frantically called my Pop and Dad a bazillion times! Their advice…If YOU think she needs help, pull. I’m only 15 so me knowing everything is an over statement! I prayed like no other. Went and got a coat (I was purple) came back and the nose was out. I prayed some more, walked over to her tried pulling with my bare hands and when I knew she wasn’t going to move on me put the halter on the calf’s leg. I pulled but wasn’t strong enough so I anchored down, wrapped it around my hand, and said as I pulled “Gaga PUSH, PUSH, almost there girl, PUSH” Three exhausting pushes, rope burns and pulls later the heifer calf came out! 15 or so minutes later GaGa was up mooing and licking her baby. An hour later the babe was up sucking! Great day!”

Wow! I’ve read this several times, and I can’t help but feel my heart beat escalate as I read Madison’s words accounting her afternoon ranch experience! How about you?

I asked her if I could share a photo of her “Gaga” and her new baby, so here’s the pair ladies and gentlemen!

Gaga and BabyHere is why I feel so strongly about sharing this little story with you! Today in my agriculture communication class, we shared our “Ag Communication Story” with our peers. It was amazing to discover and learn what all different backgrounds we have come from and why we are all so passionate about the agriculture community. Something I’ve believed in for a long time is that the true golden nugget in agriculture is that we can all share our stories, because they, in fact, are our very own to tell– Not PETA, HSUS, or other activist groups whose main charge is to diminish our businesses and ways of life in agriculture. It is up to us to toot our own horns and educate others.

I shared with you today Madison’s story, because it is raw. This is a 15 year old young woman with a passion, and I wanted you to know that ag kids are NEVER, “Just an ag kid.” I learned today in my class that some of my peers disliked growing up on farms for the chores they had to do before hanging out with friends while others practically helped run their ranches at an early age, left with a huge role in ranch responsiblity. However, all of those who mentioned this are thankful for the experience now, because growing up in agriculture has given them so much.

Madison’s story reminds us that ag kids are smart, not simple. Decisive, not indecisive. Brave, not scared. Strong, not weak. Caring, not rude. Enthusiastic, not intrinsic. And most of all, passionate, not feeble.

Let’s all take a moment to experience something that gets our heart racing for the good of the cause! Whether it’s saving a baby calf’s life or driving the feed truck by yourself at the age of 9 when your parents are at work late, agriculture has raised us to be a special kind of people. Let’s not be selfish. Share your story with others!

Check out my friend Madison’s blog:  Madison’s Farm Adventures! This 15 year old rocks!

What makes your heart pound compassionately in agriculture?

~Mal the Beef Gal