Dead carcasses lay along US Highways 212 & 34. Courtesy of Kristina Barker, Rapid City Journal
A lot of things have changed since I last posted a year ago. For one, I no longer am at Colorado State University as an Animal Science and Equine Science double major, to my heart’s dismay. I am now at Boise State University and studying Psychology with a minor in Biology so I can go on to acquire my masters and doctorate in Neuropsychology. I still have the pup and love of agriculture though, so don’t you fret. No matter how hard psychology will try, there is no way anyone or anything can take the love of cattle and agriculture and the people who make up it’s wonderful world away from me. I swear I am one of the few and the proud who rock my Tony’s on campus. And I wouldn’t ever think of being ashamed of it.
I return, after a long hiatus, to make a post that is not full of excitement. To be quite frank and direct, I wish I didn’t feel the aching in my heart to post in Rancher’s Daughter because that would mean that I could go back to studying for my anatomy and physiology lab quiz that I have tomorrow about human bones. However, this is something I could not simply ignore.
Enter: Winter Storm Atlas. Mother Nature apparently let her wrath go on Western South Dakota these past few days. And I do not say that in a joking or over exaggerate matter. Reports have been coming to light about a very heavy snowfall that came on in lightning speeds. Literally feet of snow was dumped on the Dakota plains and it is going to take an astronomical toll, emotionally, physically, and financially, on the ranchers that make up it’s population. I first read about Atlas in Rapid City Journal’s piece that was published today (October 8th, 2013). My heart ached and then broke into a million pieces. Ten’s of thousands of cattle are dead because of this storm. Tens of thousands. And, that isn’t even close to a final number yet.
Before you read any further I strongly suggest you go read what another AGvocate’s personal reasoning behind blogging and advocating for agriculture. Judi Graff is an excellent role model to all of us in the AGvocate world and her post can be found here on AgChat’s website.
My back story in agriculture is one thing, but my back story in social media and AGvocating is young. I started this blog because I wanted to take a photojournalism approach and bring the stories, traditions, personalities, and histories of the people who produce and provide the food for this growing population. But, life happened and things came up and my original idea for my blog was put on the back burner. However, I knew in my mind that what I wanted to do was still possible but I had to be flexible and change my approach because agriculture and those who oppose it weren’t going to change their approach to fit my idea. So, it was back to the drawing board and I rearranged my game plan then switched out my tactical plan.
Things like this make me so happy when I stumble across them. Things in the agriculture world can get exhausting, and I am not even the one out there who does the labor constantly. Somedays the task can just sound like a second choice to going back to bed, but since that isn’t an option we have to keep doing what we do best. I’ve been having a few rough days since my dad’s spine operation and found it fitting to find this late last night.
My grandpa is on the left and my great-grandpa is on the right
These two are pretty monumental in my dad and I’s lives. In the lineage of great-grandpa Buddy, he has Grandpa Dave, who had my dad, who had me- a girl. I don’t know how long ago this picture was taken but it has to be from before Grandpa Buddy passed away. I spent a lot of time with him and hours farming with both of them. I really miss Grandpa Buddy lately, he would have been prouder than a peacock of me for all of this. Nothing wrong with working my rear off to still make him proud, it just might not be the same way others would.
Being a part of agriculture is a feeling that I can’t put into words. The acceptance, the interactions with the animals that I love so much, and the ability to educate others about what you love doing are just some of the reasons that I thrive within it. Well, that and I was genetically set up for it. The passion I have for this industry is so strong that it is incomparable to anything I have felt before. I wonder how differently it would be if I wasn’t raised around animals and crops? I am sure I would still love it, but probably not as much as normal.
Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of experiencing the relationship that my dad, Tim Bodine, and I have, then you sure need to. We pick on each other and use sarcasm probably more than we should, by a long shot. We also have one of the strongest bonds that I am aware of and I can’t think of a time he’s ever slipped up as a father. No one is perfect and we have had both of our fair share of “stuff”, but for my entire life no one has ever taken his spot and I can guarantee no one ever will.