Getting any moisture?
By Trent Loos
I am currently sitting on the campus of Colorado State University with a group of young agriculture enthusiasts, taking part in the Ag Adventure Day sponsored by the Ag Ambassador club with the goal of educating the public about our industry. Ironically, the turnout will undoubtedly be short because of an unusual winter storm with snow that has hit the area. The funny thing is that if nobody shows up at all, these young farmers and ranchers are not going to be too worked up because they will just be happy that some moisture has finally come to the prairie.
Realizing that Fort Collins, Colo., is not directly on the route between Loup City, Neb., and Fort Collins, CO, I did get to make two stops on my way in Nevada. One stop was at the home of my dear friend Hank Vogler and the Need More Sheep Company in North Spring Valley, Nev. Hank got an early morning phone call that he answered and as soon as he recognized who the caller was, his next question was, “Getting any moisture?”
I am sure all around the world every time a conversation takes places between a couple of people in the same industry, there is a general discussion or some concerns that are addressed right off the bat. But for those of us in the business of tending to land and livestock, nothing is more important than Mother Nature with a cooperative attitude.
For us in central Nebraska, the lack of moisture in the past year has been a real wake-up call to what so many of our friends in agriculture have been dealing with when it comes to drought. The feeling of helplessness is quite overwhelming and you really begin taking a hard look at what you have put together and what you should do differently.
I can also tell you that since I left on this trip, a most needed amount of rain and snow has arrived at home and I fully expect that green while be showing up by the time I return in about five more days.
Right now it would be so easy for any of us to be whining and complaining about what we did or did not have for rain but what is accomplished by that? Nothing.
While it is a fairly accurate statement that farmer and ranchers have zero control of a huge aspect of sustainability of their farm or ranch, not counting irrigation if it is a feasible option. The truth of the matter is that as long as we continue to tend to land and livestock, we have no choice but to deal with whatever Mother Nature has in store for us.
I honestly believe so much of what we deal with in every aspect of life, even the drought, is somewhat controlled by our ability to cope with the situation, stay focused on the job at hand and find a better way.
No, droughts and blizzards are not easy on any of us. There is little doubt that for a while yet our first question in conversation will still be, “Getting any moisture.” I am just extremely glad that my family is one of the families that is still involved and actually cares how much moisture we get. Soon planters will roll and we will be busy seeding the hopes and dreams of this year’s crop because that’s the kind of faith you have when you are in agriculture for the long haul!
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.FacesOfAg.com , or email Trent at firstname.lastname@example.org.