Life is so full of choices…from “What’s for supper?” to “What am I going to wear?” to “What should I do or be when I grow up?” My little girl is growing up. We got some of her senior pictures done at our farm & she has grown into quite the young lady!

It does not seem long ago that we were toting her along to the State Fair and Ak-Sar-Ben as a newborn in her infant carrier. Now – we are working on finalizing high school, choosing a college, planning a graduation party, trying to figure out how best to finance college, and hoping she might choose to focus on all of those things more than human specimens of the male gender!

I remember being her age and hoping I was making the right choices. What a blessing for young people to have choices and not have to just follow some mandated plan set forth by a government or someone else.

I hope she can always be this excited for something as simple as toe socks!

For cattle ranchers, choices this year are tough ones. Fun choices to make are breeding decisions and studying different types of profitable marketing decisions. What is next for ranchers all across the plains states the rest of this year? Lots of planning and hard decisions. The drought forces herd reduction, feeding alterations from typical practices, and changes in family farm/ranch succession plans. We all learn to prioritize what is most important. Like always, the health and well-being of the animals comes first. If we don’t have feed for them, we have to sell them.

What does that mean to any of you who may not farm or ranch? It may mean having to do a bit more planning as to “What’s Next” in terms of what you can provide for meals. Farmers and ranchers have done an outstanding job over the years of overcoming challenges to continue to provide a very safe, abundant, and affordable food supply. Sadly, that is getting more and more difficult as the drought broadens and worsens. Groceries will very likely get more expensive. We all just need to get through this and remember stories from our great- grandparents about survival in difficult times.

O.K. I really dislike negative talk – just had to get a little realism out there. Hunker down folks – get the freezer stalked and be ready to get creative with the cooking skills! Kaydee wants to learn how to can this year, so we are starting with peach jam. Yum! Hopefully we get enough made to last us through the year.

I am adding a photo from the winter here just to remind you all how much we always wish for a nice hot day in January when it’s 10 below….Enjoy!

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