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Fodder for Thought

New Job, New Ranch, New Opportunities

Today's struggles adapting to change on Idaho ranch build character and strength for tomorrow's challenges.

Change is a strange thing. It can be exciting for those of us embarking on new adventures in life. It can also be a scary place as we head into uncharted waters.

Last week brought a very big change to my life. After spending the past six years in undergrad and grad school in both Pennsylvania and Kentucky I finally landed what most of my friends and family assumed was the dream job for a cattle addict and forage fanatic such as myself.

Over 2,000 miles later here I am on a ranch in the Teton Valley of Idaho spending my days caring for and assisting in the management of about 1,200 head of cattle being finished on grass. To say it has been easy for me would be lying.

I have to admit that adjusting from the life of a graduate student in Kentucky to that of an assistant cattle manager on an Idaho ranch has been anything but easy. I have been sore, tired, and just plain disgusted with myself a time or two throughout this first week.

Despite that, I know that with time, effort and plain old determination I will overcome these challenges. I will adapt, learn from my mistakes, and be better for it.

So why am I telling you all this? Well, because there are many other young men and women in the cattle business in similar situations facing the same challenges as me.

Some will be graduating from college soon. Others may be stepping out on their own to begin a pursuit of an entrepreneurial dream they have. Whatever that thing may be, whether it is a "dream job" or starting your own business, the important thing is to keep things in perspective.

To those in change I say: Realize that you will face challenges. Realize that you may very well be in over your head on some things. Do not be afraid to admit that fact and ask for help when you need it. In the long run, you will be respected more for what you do know when you can admit what you do not. Things may not come easy to you and you should expect to earn the respect you deserve. 

As Robert Tew said, "The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up."

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