Remember your "why"
Winter has been long and if you’re like me, the snow, cold, wind and mud has gotten you down at times. Calving season has been tough and you’ve started daydreaming about sandy beaches and sunshine.Friends, I see you.Putting your blood, sweat and tears into the family operation. Pouring your heart into farming and ranching.Working each year to preserve the legacy built by generations that came before you. Fighting so hard to create lasting opportunities for your children and grandchildren. Knowing the deck is so often stacked against you but refusing to give up.I know you’re worried and stressed and physically exhausted at times. You worry about the future of this country and the future of agriculture. You carry that heavy load and are often at a loss for what to do to make a positive impact.I want to let you know you’re not alone. I want you to know others see it too. I want to encourage you to keep up the fight. Don’t give in or give up. Hold your ground.Find ways to create new pathways for success. Create strategic partnerships, add value where you can, trim the fat, invest in the opportunities, don’t let fear drive your decision making, make a plan, hold onto your leverage, get a good team around you, learn from your mistakes and find ways to pivot when things aren’t working.Play to win and most importantly, remember who you are, where you came from and what your “why” is.Your “why” is what keeps you going each and every day. Your “why” fuels your passions and drives you to keep moving forward even when the going gets tough. Your “why” gives you a purpose to tackle the challenges of production agriculture. Your “why” may look different than me, but we are all motivated for different reasons.What is my “why?”I fight for my four kids at home on the ranch and the one in four kids who goes to bed hungry each night in this country. I fight to continue my family’s legacy, a tradition of working the land and livestock that dates back five generations.I fight for my family and friends in rural America, salt of the earth people who are often overlooked. I fight to honor God and to obediently follow His plans for my life, not my own.When you know your passion and your purpose and when you PRAY for God to make straight your path, it’s easy to fight.So, brush yourself off. Remember your “why” and let’s keep up the fight for rural America, for production agriculture and for food security in this country.It’s worth the fight and so are you!Amanda Radke is a South Dakota rancher, a writer, and motivational speaker, specializing in the beef industry, social media and consumer trends. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.