Our fast-paced society often doesn’t leave extra time for reflection on the little things in life that bring us the most joy and happiness. As agriculturists and livestock raisers, we know this all too well. Among farming, feeding, and caring for livestock, daily chores, traveling to shows, and our daily lives, it seems there isn’t any room left in the day to stop and appreciate all the things we have to be thankful for. More importantly, when we are caught up in the moment of victory or defeat, we often forget to give thanks where thanks is truly due. Yet it is during the holiday season that we get more opportunities to gather with family and loved ones, and we quickly realize how truly blessed we are and how much of what we have to be thankful for is deeply rooted in our ties to the livestock industry.
So, to the industry that shapes us all and drives our innermost purpose and passions, this one’s for you:
For providing the tangible essentials that bring us together — Thank you
What would bring us together in love and fellowship during the holidays if we didn’t have the essential things that you provide? From the outside looking in, the food at our table and the place we get together seem like an expected commodity that’s guaranteed. Yet we all know that without livestock and agriculture there would be no warm food to unite us for special occasions, no dining room table and no home to gather in and share memories. For this, we are not only thankful that you provide the basic materials we need to survive, but we are grateful that you give us a platform to teach our kids what it means to be a part of this industry; an industry that provides food, well-being and livelihoods for so many.
For providing the intangible lessons that shape our lives — Thank you
As we sit down and think about the things we can be thankful for, there is no question the skills we have and the lessons we have learned date back to the time we have invested through involvement with you. Growing up in the livestock industry gives us a gateway connection to livestock production and agriculture sustainability. This teaches us the value of hard work, diligence, passion and determination. Raising livestock shows us how to be responsible, care for others and act with honesty and integrity. Working alongside parents, mentors and role models gives us an appreciation for learning and teaches us to value the resources around us and treat others with respect. We would never get the chance for these opportunities anywhere else if it wasn’t for you.
For showing us family extends far beyond blood — Thank you
When you grow up involved with livestock you quickly find that the word family is used loosely because it’s truthfully such a broad term. You have shown us that family is more than those who call you dad, mom, sister or brother. Family are the ones who join your team and stick by you through tough competition, victory and failure. Family are those who travel many miles and sacrifice personal benefits to support you. Family are those who begin as friends, but through time spent, memories shared, and challenges overcome, soon turn into so much more. While these “family” members may not always be at the table during the holiday season — you have shown us that this industry cultivates families and villages everywhere to be thankful for.
For showing us joy in the good times and the bad — Thank you
We are thankful for what you give us and teach us, in good times and in bad. Being involved with livestock has brought us the joy of working long hours in the barn with family and friends, who all are striving toward obtaining a common goal. You have provided opportunities to accomplish our dreams with victories in the ring that bring smiles to our faces and tears to our eyes. And even in the times when we aren’t so lucky, you have brought people into our lives that will still be proud, still support us and still stand by our sides during the lowest of lows. For the memories, joys, and challenges, we are thankful.
For giving us an incredible life — Thank you
At the end of the day, we can’t thank you enough for this life and all that is has to offer in the short term and long term. We are thankful to have a passion for agriculture and animal life that fuels us every day. We are thankful to be a part of contributing to something far bigger than ourselves, something that provides food, shelter and comfort for our country and our world. Thankful to have an outlet that helps raise our kids and teach them what life is all about. And thankful to have something so special that it can be continually passed from one generation to the next.
Our promise to you is to never let our passion die, never lose faith in the goodness you bring to the table and to always focus on the next generation and how they will carry on the legacy of being involved in livestock. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you today, tomorrow, during a win, during a loss and EVERY.DAY. for all that you do.
Your Livestock Family
Jessica Judge is Marketing Brand Manager for BioZyme Inc.