Resilience is a word that I think we should focus on quite a bit more. When it comes to farm and ranch kids, we talk about work ethic and sense of accomplishment, but to me the one that matters most is resiliency.
Who in farm country has a day that goes 100% according to the plan? We learn to adapt and find a way to be resilient so we can meet the challenges that arise. While there is a bit of Hollywood “creative license” in the recently released movie, “The Stand at Paxton County,” it truly brings to life that resiliency I’m talking about.
I am very honored to have a part in this movie that is now being viewed on Netflix all around the world. In fact, I have heard from friends in Canada, England and Australia about my acting. “The Stand at Paxton County” is inspired by the story of the Dassinger Ranch in Stark County, North Dakota, and how animal rights organizations work with local authorities to remove animals from their owners.
Because I was fortunate enough to have a small role in helping to shape the story and how this movie was written, I have been able to see that endeavor in a different light. Being on the set and taking part in the production aspect brought about a new and enlightening experience that will never allow me to see a movie in the same way again. All said, my daily correspondence has been very pleasing for the past two weeks since Netflix made “The Stand” available for viewing.
For the most part, folks who send me notes have thanked me for being a part of a movie that finally shows the challenges that we as animal owners face on a regular basis. This is where I need to give Forrest Films and Lucas Oil a huge shout out because, for 20 years, I have been talking about using films to share these true life stories only to be told by Hollywood insiders, “You can’t do that or you will be blackballed from town.” Forrest Lucas and his team have proven that to be absolutely wrong.
Clearly one of the greatest long-term benefits of this production for me has been the interaction with folks who are certainly not part of the choir. I still communicate with many of the people that I met during the production and it creates an opportunity for great dialogue. For the most part, they are people who have fallen prey to misinformation put out by the animal rights community. When I share some insight on these issues with them and their response is “I had no idea.” I know it is time well spent.
I would be willing to bet that most folks, even animal owners, have no idea how often my phone rings with someone that is dealing with local law enforcement in a similar situation as the Dassingers. From horses to dogs and even cattle, any person owning livestock today is a target. I believe the one statement from the justice in all of this that makes my toes curl came from the state of Michigan where a couple of gentlemen had their horses removed and sold. They were eventually found “not guilty” of all charges but the horses were long gone. In the process, the judge made a statement that will forever stick in my head when he said, “Clearly you didn’t care for these horses properly because you did not use new blankets.”
This reflects the lack of awareness of the agricultural world. I have never blanketed my horse so hopefully a judge in Nebraska would have a little more insight but we certainly can assume that only at our own peril!
Once you get in the judicial system on any animal related charge, finding someone who actually understands the difference between an animal and an infant is very rare. So that is why I am so happy to have been involved in the production of “The Stand at Paxton County.” I hope that you not only watch it on Netflix but call 10 friends and ask them to do the same. The reality is that this situation is coming to a town near you very soon. We need to be aware of what is going on in our community and with our law enforcement and with our neighbors. We need to be the eyes and ears that spot these problems before they spin out of control. If we are not proactive, we will all be at risk of losing everything we have worked to build for our family legacy.
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.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at firstname.lastname@example.org.