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Starting a new life in a new location

Agriculture.com Staff 09/26/2006 @ 2:08pm

"Look to the future, because that is where you'll spend the rest of your life." -- George Burns.

I have a tendency to look into the past and ask "why?" Why did life lead me so closely to a childhood dream, but stopped me short of completing it? Why was I granted an opportunity which many farm and ranch children would love, yet very few are given? Then I step back and remember the quote, "look to the future", as the past is not where I'm going to spend the rest of my life, it is there to build character and memories.

Heidi and I have made the decision to leave the ranch and move onto new endeavors in our life. This was not an easy decision for me at all! When Mom chose to sell all of the cattle, and pasture or lease the land, I knew deep in my heart we were not going to be able to purchase cattle, pay the full cash lease and remain full time in my position without running ourselves ragged. Consenting to that fact, I have decided to disperse our herd as well and scheduled it for November 4.

Around the same time as the decision was made to disperse the cow/calf herd, I was given an opportunity to head up a new marketing division for program cattle in an auction market environment. I was not looking for a career change, and nor was the owner was not looking for another employee. He analyzed me and had the faith in me to offer a position that I was flattered to receive and thus, accepted. It was the right offer, at the right time, in the right location. I look forward to this new challenge and endeavor.

I truly believe that things happen for a reason. When all the writing was clearly put before us, we chose to make the move and pursue the opportunity. For example, I found an auction listing the day before an upcoming land auction was to occur near Yankton. I looked over the property during that lunch hour, and then told Heidi that she and I should attend to see what prices were like. The price was such that Heidi and I wound up buying the land on that auction. It happens to be seventeen miles from Heidi's parents, so she is very happy to be close to home. The kids will go to Irene school and I will work ten miles from home in Yankton. Other signs continue to make us feel that this is the right decision.

While I'm deeply saddened that I am not going to be able to be the one that gets to continue Dad's life work into the future, I know in my heart that I take a piece of Dad's knowledge and education with me. I had the opportunity to get back to the basics with Dad. I will forever be grateful for the time I was able to spend with him the past few years. Dad gave me his high school state champion steer wrestling buckle one Christmas. I now wear that with pride knowing that Dad is guiding and assisting me from home, 'the true home'!

Since we announced our decision to leave the ranch, both Heidi and I have received so many kind complaints about our time here, as well as words of sorrow about our decision leave from numerous neighbors. The rural community and organizations we leave behind had become part of our lives and we will for surely miss that all of them when we move!

The upcoming month is filled with selling calves, moving the house, building a new basement for the house, building a machine shed, starting a new career and simply adjusting to a new life.

"Look to the future, because that is where you'll spend the rest of your life." -- George Burns.

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