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Life is Simple: A lot of my friends are retiring and moving away, but I really love where I live.

Jerry Crownover

July 7, 2021

2 Min Read

I’ve reached the age where a lot of my friends are retiring, or contemplating retirement, and moving away from where they have lived for most of their life. I’m happy for them, if that’s what they want to do, but I’ve always wondered what would make someone at the ripe old age of 70 want to pull up stakes and move to some place where no one knows their name.

With the exception of a few years living in central Missouri and then Mississippi, I have spent my entire life in the Ozark hills of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. I’ve been happy here among people who talk like I do, and I never really considered moving away from where I’ve always felt most comfortable. But with so many friends moving away recently, it made me start looking — and I may have found the ideal place for me to retire.

Top cattle counties

Last week, I received a national magazine that ranked counties all over the country based on the number of cattle residing in that county. I always thought I lived at the epicenter of the beef cow business, but I have found that among the thousands of counties across this great country, my county ranks 30th in the number of beef cows. Holt County, Neb., ranks first in the nation, with almost twice as many cows as my county. In addition, Holt County has about one-fourth as many people as does the county in which I live. Anyone who knows me very well knows that I love cows a lot more than people, so this place in northern Nebraska seems like it might be Eden for me.

After being made aware of these numbers, I started doing a little online research about this county that I have never visited and, quite frankly, had never heard of until last week. It seems the sparse population of this large county is of the same age demographic as me. In researching it further, it would seem that politically, the people of Holt County vote the same way I do and seem to have the same moral and ethical values that I have. Granted, I would have to put a big red N on the back of my truck, along with a sticker that says “Go Huskers,” but I could do that easily enough to fit in.

The more I read about this rural Nebraska county, the more excited I became about the possibilities of this wonderful place as a cowboy’s retirement dream come true. As I learned about the history, geography, culture and economy of Holt County, Neb., I could actually begin to see myself living there — until I got to the part about climate. As I reviewed the average daytime highs and lows for the month of January, I came to a very important and obvious conclusion — I really love where I live right now.

 Crownover farms in Missouri.

About the Author(s)

Jerry Crownover

Jerry Crownover raises beef cattle in Missouri.

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