Thursday, July 14, 2011

Changing Times

This is one of those days that I want to post but, don't know what to say.  In fact, this is my fourth start on a post.  I deleted the previous attempts.

I guess the thing that is on my mind is what I have seen this week.  It really is nothing new but, for some reason it stood out to me.

We have been holding educational meetings for ranchers in South and Central Texas.  The attendance has been good.  The faces are the thing that caught my attention.

I've been doing or attending these types of meetings for a lot of years.  It used to be that your crowd was going to be the old, grizzled, lived in the sun all his life rancher and his wife whose hands were just as work-worn and weary as his.  That's not the case anymore.  Oh, there are still a few sprinkled in the crowd, but, today I see bankers and lawyers and real-estate tycoons, environmentalists, city folk with a few acres in the country......well, I guess the best description is a lot of hobby ranchers.

The questions always amaze me.  Some of them are obviously coming from a person with little or no understanding of the cattle business.  Others come from a deep "book" knowledge but, little real-world experience.  And, yes, there are questions from the old guy who has lived it all his life.

Sometimes it is easy to tell which group a person falls into simply based on their question.  You know immediately whether they are a serious, make-your-living-off-the-land, in-it-for-life rancher, or a hobbyist.  Not always.

I am always amazed that there is occasionally one -- frequently a woman -- who asks exactly the right questions.  It is obvious that they are interested and knowledgeable.  You immediately think of, "she left him at home working and she's out gathering information to make it easier."  You think maybe she's the business side of the business and her husband is the get-it-done side.

Rarely is that actually the case.  More often than not, she has 3 cows, 2 llamas, and a couple of horses.  All of them have names like Daisy and Buttercup.  Her husband is a lawyer.  They live on an "estate" in the country.  They have no children.  Her animals are her life. 

This old world, it is a changin'.  I'm not sure it's for the better.


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