Heifers bound for Uzbekistan serve as a reminder of purpose

The Lawrence family sold 10 heifers to be sent to Uzbekistan by way of North Dakota.

The Lawrence family of Minnesota sold 10 registered Hereford heifers to be sent to Uzbekistan. (Marytina Lawrence, Special to Agweek)

The current climate of our world has been shifting drastically in the past few weeks. Our family is home together, tucked in and adjusting to the new normal. That being said, farmers are considered to be essential in light of all that is happening, and so even though we are sticking close to home as a family, we are still working to provide food for people every day by raising cattle to support our industry.

A few weeks ago, another breeder reached out to us with a need for registered breeding heifers for a grouping that has been contracted for the country of Uzbekistan. The criteria that each animal was required to meet were specific, and for that reason we went through the herd with a fine tooth comb to select individuals that would represent us well and serve the people they are going to. When we were all done, we had determined that we had 10 young females that fit the criteria.

With arrangements for delivery made, health papers from the veterinarian completed, and weights and registrations up to date, my farmer husband and I loaded that cattle up on Monday morning at 4 a.m. and began our trek across two states to deliver our precious cargo to North Dakota. It would be a 16-hour trip from start to finish, and we truly enjoyed every minute of our time together visiting and watching the acres of land go by. More importantly, it felt good in this troubled time to being doing something in the field we are so passionate about.

Upon arrival at the brief resting place for our cattle, the farmer putting together the group that will be going to another land helped us unload and gave us background on the journey they will be taking. It was exciting to visit with a farmer in an different state, see his operations and visit with him about all the different things he is doing.

One of the greatest things I have always appreciated about our profession is the commonality that we share with people all over our country. This place we arrived at in North Dakota was much bigger than our place. The operation as a whole was much larger, but the struggles and goals are the same. This farm was owned and operated completely by family, as is ours. In just a few minutes it became clear that our lives run very parallel just on different scales.


It was a great trip that left both my farmer husband and I feeling purposeful for the first time in a few weeks. It reminded me as well how important it is right now to stay focused on our true purposes in life and not lose sight of what we have to be thankful for even in these difficult times. I look forward to checking up on our future world travelers to see where they end up.

Lawrence and her husband Bryan raise turf grass, alfalfa, corn and purebred Hereford cattle near Princeton, Minn. She works for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation and is state coordinator for the Speak for Yourself program. Reach her at

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