In the political climate of today it’s easy to paint a bleak picture of our future in one’s mind. No matter if you’re right or left, young or old, it seems that in the world today we are always a few bad decisions away by a far off politician from real trouble. I wonder how many times in history have the folks in our country wondered about their future and that of their children and grandchildren. I know that our mothers and fathers, and theirs before them, facing the Civil War, the World Wars and the Great Depression had times of uncertainty.
History also reveals that our country has made some of its greatest strides following its worst of times. It seems the next generation learns from those before them and a political and social correction makes things stronger and our lives become better.
If we as individuals want to see the good in things, we don’t have far to look. Our youth, whether it’s your children, grandchildren or some of the folks you know, we all can see just how fortunate we are. Fortunate because in our world positive thinking, well behaved, hardworking, humble, yes sir, yes mam, thank you, and please are taught and it’s no mistake. Cow people don’t leave the raising of their children to chance.
I had the privilege to attend the Florida Jr. Cattlemen’s livestock show in Tampa. At this event there were just short of 300 young men and women showing around 400 head of cattle. All of which were supported by moms, dads, grandparents, family and friends. As I walked through the barn and down the show cattle lined up for the showmanship contest I was reminded of just how blessed we are to have young people that behave, dress and show respect for not only a stranger, but especially for themselves. They took pride in their animal, their appearance and those around them. They followed the leadership of not only the many adults that put together and ran the large show, but also that from the young leaders among them. I saw members of old cow families and many that were there to show their only animal. The important thing was that they were there and they were proud of what they were there for. They were and will be advocates for the beef industry for years to come. They are the ones that will make policy, become that part of society that is stable and trustworthy, and be the ones that will protect the way of life that they have been taught to love and respect. All of these young folks will not grow up to be beef producers, but in their hearts they will forever hold the experiences that so many have shared.
I believe that all of OUR young folks are the kind of people that will sustain our country. They are fewer in numbers and that makes it that much more important. Please support our youth whether it’s a show, being a member of the Junior Cattlemen’s Association, holding an officer position, being the Beef Ambassador, participating in the Florida Cattlemen’s Leadership Academy, competing in the Florida Cattlemen’s Sweetheart competition, or even the young ones around home that get up and do their chores in the morning and evening. They are the future roots to our association, our industry and our way of life and deserve our support, encouragement and respect. They all certainly have mine.
Below you will find the contact information for our youth program volunteers. Please contact the group of your choice and get a young person involved or offer your support in the way you choose.
- 2016 FCA Sweetheart Samantha Dailey, email@example.com, 352-615-3060
- Sweetheart Program Coordinator Kim Strickland, 239-851-3896
- Youth Committee Chairs: Gene Wingate, 941-322-2543; Stephanie Conrad, 813-393-8695; Christine Damron, 352-427-3034.
- Florida Cattlemen’s Leadership Academy, FCA Office, 407-846-6221, Dusty Holley or Jim Handley.
“Our Roots Run Deep” for a bright future.
2016-2017 FCA President