In the midst of mud from the freshly melted six inches of snow, miles of pens, and the hum of generators, I stand above the ground and take in my surroundings. The catwalk in the Denver stock yards is one of my favorite places in the world. On it, I am able to look over a place that has historic value, as well as significance to my family.
One of my favorite memories was this past January, seeing my photo on the Wall of Champions in the Yards as National Hereford Queen, since my parents and grandparents are on the wall, too. I am the fourth generation of both sides of my family to exhibit cattle at the National Western Stock Show, and the fifth generation on both sides to raise Hereford cattle.
While these two traditions have uniquely influenced my life, the broader traditions of agriculture run deep in many families, such as my own. There are technical traditions, such as branding cattle with the brand (and sometimes the same branding irons!) that have been in a family for years. There are also traditions of agricultural life that are more so associated with values and soft skills. For example, when I think of integrity, I think of a cowboy, because the image that most people have of a cowboy is a kind person who always helps and does the right thing. Other traditions of agricultural life include grit, courage, and passion. These are a handful of the reasons that I am proud of the traditions that I keep as part of an agricultural family.