Agriculture is South Dakota’s leading industry. As a cattle rancher, we are part of the second largest agricultural crop in the state– cattle and calves. Corn is the top SD agriculture product. Agriculture has a $19 BILLION impact on South Dakota’s economy. How amazing is that. Per the National Agricultural Statistics Service, as of January 1st, 2013, there were 1,688,000 beef cattle in South Dakota, 92,000 milk cows, 545,000 replacement heifers (beef & milk combined), 90,000 bulls, and 345,000 calves. Those are some incredible numbers. These stats can be seen at http://www.nass.usda.gov/Quick_Stats/Lite/result.php?43ADC270-B4D8-344C-A695-091BBA802F46
I’m incredibly blessed to live in an agricultural community. I’m even more blessed to be a ranch wife and make our living in agriculture. John Salazar stated “I have always said there is only one thing that can bring our nation down– our independence on foreign countries for food and energy. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy.” As cattle producers we play a single, but vital role in the ag economy, and we do it with pride. May GOD continue to bless the farmers and ranchers in this world.
Ram Trucks Superbowl Commercial said it best. The transcript is as follows:
And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, and dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, [in] planting time and harvest season, will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours.” So God made the farmer.
God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to wean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark.” So God made a farmer.
It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what dad does. So God made a farmer.
If you didn’t see the commercial, the link follows. Just another thing that makes this ranch wife’s heart smile and eyes leak. Life is grand.