Monday, March 12, 2012

I am Agriculture Proud! My heritage as a farmer/rancher.

"Poets often tell the truth and the old song which contains the refrain, "The farmer feeds them all," states a very fundamental economic truth. Without the farmer the rest of the country would starve within a week despite the large amount of food in cold storage. Every occupation might be done away with but farming and people could live, but a total cessation of farming for a very short time would actually depopulate the whole world. A man can live without banks all his life, but deprive him of his bread and his career is soon ended. Farming is becoming an honored profession; our district schools are teaching it as a science and our colleges are granting degrees for agricultural courses. The farmers of any community sustain the people dependent on every other profession. Without the farmer the banker would close his doors, the manufacturer would shut down his factory and the railroads would suspend operations. Among the honored men of Shelby county, Iowa, who help to keep the banker, the manufacturer and the railroads is Perry McDowell, of Douglas township."
I hope some day my epitaph reads as well. People forget just how important the farmer/ rancher is to the entire economic structure of the country. These words were true almost 100 years ago and are as valid today as they were then. This is an excerpt from "the history of Shelby County Iowa 1915" speaking about my great Grandfather.(Perry McDowell)
I'm the Fourth or fifth generation tied to the land, (Still working on that Genealogy!) There isn't much information about Great great grandpa and his life. Just a little note that he was a farmer in Ohio. My grandfather is the one who really built our operation, and our partners history is just as strong.
Our Registered cattle can trace back to Animals My Great Grand dad imported at the turn of the last Century. Our Production herds have Direct ties to the Vail Ranch which was once one of the largest operations in California (and encompassed much of what is now Temecula California, My Grandfather's herd produced some of the finest Aberdeen Angus around and those Genetics are still seen in our animals today. We have improved on those old style cows with selective breeding and have some of the most efficient grass based genetics going.
Every time one of our show steers makes the Championship drive, or a production animal grades Choice+ on grass , I send up a little prayer of thanks, to God and Grandpa for passing that passion down to me.
 I think that it is important for those of us in production agriculture to share our passions, and our day to day struggles, To embrace technology with a nod to those that came before us and paved the way for our success, To show how we differ from the preconceived notions and outright lies that some folks want you to believe. My Grandpa told me once, It doesn't matter how good you say you are, What matters is that People SEE it in Practice!
Show those beginners what you do, answer their questions, and take the time to learn about practices that improve your operation. It's what my ancestors did, and I'm proud to be keeping that tradition alive.

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