It takes a village to raise a child | Opinion


I received an email the other day from a listener at Loos Tales in South Dakota. He was happy that I spoke about how farms teach our kids work ethic and responsibility, but mentioned that I always seemed to use the kids at breeding shows as an example.

He pointed out that there are many young people who just want to farm or ranch and have no interest in showing cattle. Ironically or not, I got this email the same day Kelli was buying straw for next winter from a 15-year-old entrepreneur. I couldn’t agree more with my South Dakota listener.

I am convinced that I am in one of those stages that all parents go through, but I seem to have reached the age where my dominant thought is what is best for my daughters. At the end of the day, it’s always about what I focus on and my efforts on the next generation of children coming into adulthood. On the other side of the equation, here is: what are the kids doing? As my travels across the country have intensified again, far too many people are asking the question, “What’s wrong with kids these days?” “

As I write this article on how farm kids who seem so young make decisions like adults, I realized that I needed to look back on my favorite time in American history. I love the era of the trails from 1865 to 1881 when 6 million head of cattle were driven from South Texas to the northern headlands. Literally, it was an effort that rebuilt our nation on the heels of civil war, and the herdsmen responsible for moving these cattle were on average around 15 years old.

“You get what you expect” is a phrase I often refer to when working with young people. As parents, I believe most farmers expect their children to be excellent and to do their part. With these standards in place, we have created quite independent souls who don’t sit idly by and wait for nothing and no one.

When you summarize the current state of our nation, most things have come too easily for the next generation. The education system has brainwashed these children into a generation that has rights. However, I can’t give the school enough credit for it, as a committed and ethical parent will overcome this indoctrination every time.

I had a great experience recently at the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Convention in the Smokey Mountains. The organizers gave me the opportunity to visit a small group of junior members, ages 8-19. I didn’t teach them any lessons, but instead asked each child to get involved and share their thoughts on life and farming. What I have learned from all of this is that they are observing everything that is going on around them right now and are always extremely positive about the cow trade. They have friends at school who tell them cows are the source of all the ills in the world and all they want is someone to give them the confidence to set the record straight. time.

Let me close by setting the record straight. The next generation that will take over this land is full of bright and enthusiastic minds who want to be part of the solution and they are just waiting for positive direction and contribution. Are you contributing to the needs of these children in your community? As much as I would like to take credit for these great ideas, as the Bible tells us that children are God’s blessings. It is clear that “it takes a village to raise a child”. Their success and ultimately the future of the world depends on how we prepare them to take over, not what we hand over to them.

Editor’s Note: Trent Loos is a sixth-generation American farmer, host of the daily Loos Tales radio show, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a nonprofit that puts the human element back into food production. Learn more about, or email Trent at [email protected]

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