Family affair

Breeding – it’s a family affair worth fighting for

A new season of “Yellowstone” starring Kevin Costner launched earlier this fall, and every week I see the buzz and chatter about the episodes.

The show is full of drama, suspense, mystery, revenge, and mayhem. It’s also set on a beautiful ranch, with lots of cattle, horses, cowboys, cowgirls, and great imagery depicting our western way of life.

The show is incredibly popular and it’s interesting to hear everyone’s perspective on all the highs and lows of this series.

However, a comment I received recently stopped me in my tracks and made me realize how much work we have to do in our industry.

One of my readers, who lives in an urban area, messaged me on Instagram and said, “It’s so cool to hear about your lifestyle in Yellowstone.

I was a little surprised because other than cattle and ranch work, swearing cowboys, murder plots, land grabs and other betrayals don’t look much like my quiet life on our ranch. of South Dakota.

And this is a good thing ! I am not Beth Dutton!

Though I have to admit I wish I had the Dutton’s clothing budget, but the cattle don’t seem to care much about my worn-out Carhartts and tattered beanies.

All that to say that the show has a focus on agriculture – whether that’s good or bad, I’m not sure.

However, the story of a quiet life on a cattle ranch might not get quite the same record-breaking audience.

But that’s okay – I don’t think I’d trade the Duttons for what I have.

As I type this, my children are working on bullocks in the barn. Our five year old is learning to cut and fit. Our seven-year-old reads his calf chapters. And the little boys – our Irish twins aged three and four – are playing on the square bales which are stacked up and waiting for the calving season to start this winter.

The children laugh. They learn from Tyler and me. They have grandparents nearby. And they learn to care for the land and livestock, to do an honest day’s work, and to live with integrity.

It’s a modest life, but I’ve come to realize over the years how rich we really are to live in agricultural settings, with wide open spaces, fresh air and the opportunity to work, grow, make mistakes and try again the next day.

Sure, that wouldn’t make a drama TV series, but I can guarantee you that people on social media want to hear these stories too.

Being transparent, authentic and open to inviting consumers to take a peek at what real ranch work looks like will give them the opportunity to buy what we’re trying to do here on the line – take care of our natural resources while providing a nutrient-rich product to feed the world.

It’s a story worth telling, and I can’t wait to hear more about yours!

Amanda Radke’s opinions are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.