As a girl growing up in a family of ranchers, agriculture, and tradition you learn a lot. Through all the lessons learned through growing up in a small rural town, there are three lessons I learned that I will forever carry with me throughout my life.
Lesson #1: Never let go of the rope.
Growing up showing animals, I learned never to let go of the rope. After you let go of that rope the first time, the animal thinks in can get away from you all the time and you will never succeed at leading it. The same thing happens through life. It may get tough as you get older and I know the work load gets bigger and tasks get harder, but the difficulties are worth it. If you give up and think the projects are too hard, you let go of the rope. Whatever you let go of on the other end of that rope, will now know that you are afraid and be able to control you. When you are old enough to see that the responsibility, hard work and dedication was worth it, be proud of yourself. You didn’t let go of the rope and you took control of the situation! Those rope burns you got on your hands are also a reminder that you didn’t let go. So hold onto that rope no matter how rough it gets!
Lesson #2: Always give a firm handshake.
I was always taught to give a firm handshake. A firm handshake shows purpose, strength, confidence and good work ethic. Growing up on a farm, I had gained the purpose, strength, confidence and work ethic. My calloused hands have shown my rope burns from leading my fair animals, the dirt under my nails from working in the fields, and the oil, grease and other foreign matter (that might be from a rear end of an animal) stains that showed the long work hours. Since I have been to college and not working on the farm, I have still had a firm handshake. As we go into the work force, that strong handshake helps build on your character in an interview. Even if you are not in an interview, and just introducing yourself to new people, they will remember you by that strong handshake. Who knows, maybe it will impress your future-in-laws?! The strong handshake will get you far in life and impress anyone.
Lesson #3: Pick your friends like you pick your animals
This may sound harsh, but it’s true. When you’re picking cattle you look at how structural sound the animal is, the depth of the body and the overall make-up of the animal. The same thing is for your friends. A structural sound friend is someone who is there for you at any time. They are also smooth and fluent in their ways. This structural sound friend will also make you look good. The depth of body has to do with the heart and attitude of a friend. A friend’s heart depth is judged on passion, strength, love, encouragement and determination. The attitude of a friend is important because you don’t need a “Debbie Downer.” Find that friend with the positive attitude on life and makes the best of any situation! I know it is hard to find all of these characteristics in a friend, but you are sure to find great friends with this situation. I know judging people is bad, but this method I learned growing up has stuck me with some of my friends that I know will be in my life forever.
With these three lessons in my life, I have never given up, have great respect for myself and from others, and had great supporters. A lot of people think that on a farm you just learn how to feed cattle, drive a tractor or how to properly use duct tape and WD-40 for farm equipment. The truth is you learn life lessons, even if you don’t think you are learning them. So hear is to never letting go of the rope, having a firm handshake and picking friends like that grand champion animal.