Annette Tait & Katy "Kate" Kassian
Last year around this time we wrote, "It's easy to talk, but much harder to walk. And there's a lot of talking going on this time of year." Then we issued the challenge to "Put your actions where your thankfulness is" by going beyond the "I'm thankful for ..." social media posts by passing that thankfulness along to others.
Who are the faces of agriculture? When most people outside of the industry think of folks in Ag, their first thought is farmers and ranchers. But that's just the beginning. The faces of agriculture are many and as varied as can be imagined. Yes, agriculture does include the stereotypes — the huge tracts of land and operations with hundreds-plus head of one kind of critter or another. But Ag also encompasses everything from farm stands to healthy eating to goat soap makers to 4-H kids and new-age homesteaders.
If you have a high school junior, the pressure is on. All the "what will you do after high school" talk is leading to ACT and SAT (college admissions) tests, college applications, and so on and so forth. But is "what they say" really true? For years there's been a push for students to go to college. And for some, that's exactly the right choice. But not for everyone.
Losing a pet can be very hard. Most of us are as attached to our pets as we are to our kids; sometimes it may even seem like more. Missy the Wonderdog was our rescue pup. She was born while a rescue rig was traveling down the highway, taking her mama from a puppy mill that had gotten out of control to the safety of a no-kill shelter.
It chills us to the bone every time we hear it. And the numbers aren't getting any better. Rural ambulance services and fire departments are in trouble. If you live rural and this doesn't scare you, it should. Rural emergency services often travel greater distances than their city counterparts to get where they need to go, sometimes on roads that aren't paved. Or there may not even be roads — a recent call to our local ambulance service required traveling across fields and then trekking down into a coulee to reach the patient.
"Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!" With these words from Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" and the familiar chords of "Pomp and Circumstance," we spent this past weekend sending kids off on their journeys into adulthood. It's an exciting time for our high schoolers and college kids. It's their turn to venture out into the great big world to follow their hopes and dreams — to see how they fit and if there's anything else out there they want to try on for size.
Sometimes the silliest little things are real eye-openers. Stuff we'd normally take for granted that --- for whatever reason — spurs a thought or a memory or offers a totally unexpected little nugget of new information. Or, in this case, reminded us of how lucky we really are.
Like many, we used to breeze right by the turnoff at Mule Creek Junction — the one that leads to Edgemont, S.D. That changed one year during a trip to Sturgis, when we stopped in the café in Lusk and saw a flyer for a "bikers and bulls rodeo."
According to Webster's Dictionary, "community" is defined as people with common interests — an interacting population of various individuals in a single location. A community can be your town, your street, your church, school, coffee klatch, business, rodeo family or pretty much any group at all. Community = people. But what does that really mean? Think about how community — or lack of community — affects us.
We're feeling the Valentine's Day love with a slightly different twist — after all, what else would you expect from us? Most of the time we write about how to make rural life better. We don't want to see our small towns and rural areas fade any farther. We want to see rural people and rural places thrive. That's because we love living rural. And here are a few of the reasons why. Sunrises, sunsets and stars