Father: a man who is the parent of another human; a man who brings up and looks after a child.
My Dad has two magnificent daughters, if I may say so myself. It took hard work to shape us into the people we are today, but Dad had a lot of fun along the way.
When Sister and I were little, Dad would come into our room at 6:00 am on Saturday morning and give us piggy back rides to the living room couch. He was also known to help us make tents out of quilting frames or by putting the couches back to back and covering them with bedspreads.
Dad spent countless hours cleaning dried moss and scum off of livestock watering tanks so M and I had a “swimming pool” in the summer time. Dad even joined us in the cool water on a hot, humid, Nebraska evening.
My husband always looks at me funny when I tell him this: Sister and I could read Bull EPD’s and interpret Livestock Judging scenarios at a very young age. We also knew the parts of the livestock we showed and some we didn’t.
M and I also learned what work ethic meant a very young age. Dad, like most Ranchers, expected his girls to work hard and know a good days work. There were some awful, long, and hard days of work growing up. One that comes to mind is cutting thickets in August. If you have ever been too central Nebraska in August you know it is hot, humid and buggy! I think of that day every time I drive by the patch of thickets we cut. I can honestly say I am proud of the fact that we accomplished a big project as a family and improved the environment of our ranch. I also hope I never have to do it again!
Dad encouraged us to do non-ag related stuff. Sister and I played park and recreation basketball in grade school. I loved 8th grade basketball. We got to run the Middle School Hallways during practice! Dad coached our Little Girls Softball team and M’s softball team in High School.
Dad and I butted heads a lot when it came to show steers. It was a matter of competition. Dad will tell you I am competitive; when I want to be. Showing cattle was my passion. We were on the same team, but he pushed me to be the best showman and fitter I could be. I skipped my Junior prom because going to a steer show on a “Dad and Daughter Weekend Trip” seemed like a lot more fun!
Growing up Dad tried to educate us about ranching. I kind of listened. When I got into my Animal and Range Science classes at SDSU I started to remember the lessons Dad tried to teach us. I would call him from my college apartment and say “I get it. This is why you do it this way!” I was listening, just not realizing the importance of Dad’s teaching at the time.
This is a small token of appreciation to say: Thank You, Dad, for all the time and love you have invested in me! I love you!