I got a note the other day from Frederick Drummond over at Pawhuska, Oklahoma, outlining his choices for the June Beef Producer on the greatest innovations in the industry.
He reminded me of something pretty important – something that’s on my mind this week as I’m preparing to go to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association annual meeting next week.
He reminded me that the associations of beef producers working together in NCBA and the Beef Checkoff are two of the most important things ever to happen in the industry.
He’s right. And I’d add to that we need to work harder at it. We need more real beef producers from the country involved in the dialog. And we need to learn how to speak our minds thoughtfully and respectfully. We need to get better at disagreeing about things and yet joining together on the big issues.
We need not to get mad because someone disagrees with us and we need to speak out about how we’re being treated unfairly.
One thing I’ve learned in this life is everyone sees their interests as most important, yet many people – particularly the emotionally mature—can hear a well-reasoned argument and consider changing their position to better include the wishes of others.
It takes effort and practice. And it takes pushing aside the selfish child in us and wanting compassion and reason to rule the day. But it can be done.
This is what we need in our industry and, frankly, it’s what we need in our country.
How about this for a challenge: Let’s all take a bigger part in our industry and really try to hear one another.