On Thursday (9/24/15) prior to the start of the NDSA Cattlemen's College there was a marketing workshop. One of the questions posed by the presenter was "How many of you have a blog?". I was honest (although I didn't really want to talk about my lack of commitment to telling our Ranch's story the last couple years) when she asked how many followers it had. "I'm not sure, but I do know since starting it in 2011 there have been over 24,000 page visits with between 200 and 1,500 page views per post". To be clear, this blog is no Pioneer Woman and neither the topics nor writing quality will draw folks out of the woodwork to loyally follow it. That being said, I do think that it is important to tell the story of our little lives out here and the story of why we care for the animals and land the way we do.
Ya know, life happens and things get busy. Priorities shift and in our effort to keep hope alive in an uncertain place in our history things get a little blurry and the signs hard to read (likely due to the number of them and the speed at which life clips along). We sometimes find ourselves backtracking the navigated path looking for other routes and hoping for a simpler way to get to our destination... and then sometimes our destination disappears or become unrecognizable.
HOME has always been the destination for me. Providing this 'way of life' for future generations has always been the mission (let's face it, this way of life builds pretty darn good folks). Being good stewards of the livestock and land and leaving a legacy to be proud of have always been the goals. So what if the destination disappears, the mission impossible, and the goals meaningless for lack of a 'why'? And what if consumers don't believe us when we do try to bridge the existing gap with them? I'm not saying that one little blog can change the future, but I am saying that I refuse to quit trying to bridge the gap and to frame the 'why', which builds understanding. I want people to continue to be able to keep visiting our ranch and understanding why we do what we do without having to leave the comfort of their lives where ever that may be.
So I will keep posting and hoping for followers and sharers who help spread the word about ranching life and rural ag communities... 'cause like I said before, this way of life builds pretty darn good folks who want to bridge the gap with the folk who aren't out here at the end of the road with us.
In the meantime, let me share a little story about 'folk-building'. When I was a twelve year old girl and my little sister was seven, the family loaded up a couple of our ranch horses on a crisp fall morning and headed down the road toward Keene County. Our destination was the Blue Buttes Fun Day at the Willard Kieson arena. BBFD has a long history and tradition in McKenzie County. The games were fun. The kids tough, friendly and competitive. Shivers, my mom's horse that I got to ride that day was fast. The H hanging L (my Dad's brand) Ranch brought home hardware that day.
|1986 and 1987 All Around Cowgirl buckles which I proudly display in our Ranch House living room still to this day.|
|The 2015 Blue Buttes Fun Day (BBFD) at the Wesley and Tina Leppell arena. Jaden hamming it up after the Boot Race.|
|The 2015 BBFD. Kyle and Zoey taking a spin around the arena on Taxi.|
|The 2015 BBFD. Kyle hanging with Hoss between games.|
|2015 BBFD. Jaden all smiles and Chance struggling to stay awake!|
To the Keison's and the Leppell's, thank you so much for this annual event that celebrates Good Folks, Great Fun, Good Sportsmanship, Tough Competition, Fast Horses, AND FAMILY!