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BeefTalk: The Stress and Strength of the Prairie

The Stress and Strength of the Prairie The Stress and Strength of the Prairie

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

Beef production on the prairie takes place within an environment that is not always kind. In fact, the prairie environment might aptly be described as harsh.

Producer expectations do not always hold up, stressing us to the point that our joy of life may be compromised in our misery. In the end, we need to survive the stress to get to our strengths.

Maturation is a process of preparing ourselves for the difficulties of life. A failed test, the late night and subsequent tardiness, the missed basket or catch or the forgotten line are experiences that prepare us for the challenges of falling.

The bottom line relative to beef cattle management and personal growth for that matter is our true growth is achieved by overcoming the failure to accomplish what it was we each set out to achieve. How we handle the failures and ensuing stress really charts our ability to survive.

As we incorporate our experiences into our adult lives, we will learn and grow into our lives. Even then, our environment and the many events around us do not always take us where we thought we were going.

This spring, the northern prairies have presented us many challenges. When challenged, at times we prevail, but when we see all we have worked for literally disappear, the stress mounts.

Finding words to express the stress of the moment are difficult. There always will be that moment in all our lives when we really don’t know if life is really worth the effort.

We weigh the fear of losing all that we have, losing someone close to us or what tomorrow may bring. We hope the scale always will tip to tomorrow to bring us a new day filled with renewed hope.

Hope, faith and love are the pillars that shore up our lives and bring meaning to another day. What tomorrow brings never really is known until we are there.

What we want or even the very things we need may not be there, however, hope, faith and love will be.

If we cannot determine our needs and our wants, then there is no hope, faith or love. There is only abandoned space that is unwillingly left empty.

With emptiness, fear, despair and pain exist. Life is not easy. Life never will be easy.

We can, if we are not careful, become weary of life and lose the joy that hope, faith and love brings us. We must remember weariness is not something that we can lay sole claim to.

The pioneer prairie settlers grew weary as well. In beef production, the challenges and tribulations of bringing one day to a close and preparing for tomorrow always has been with us.

Our predecessors hurt and cried. We hurt and cry.

Somewhere in the midst of the fear, despair and pain, we need to look through those tears. We need to look beyond the pain so we may endure what we face in anticipation of what is to come.

This year, spring is having a particularly difficult birth. Struggling would be a mild term. Needless to say, spring will arrive.

Let us pray for endurance to look forward with a willing spirit that will sustain us within our own suffering and those around us. May we persevere through God’s love during difficult times and find the joy that tomorrow will bring with renewed hope, faith and love.

Life is always worth living, even when our current situation seems bleak. When we lose control, we struggle with the stress.

Tomorrow will arrive. For those born tomorrow, this was not a bad spring. However, it is up to us to carry on and prepare them for what they, too, will someday experience.

Talk, pray and listen.

May you find all your ear tags.

Your comments are always welcome at

For more information, contact the NDBCIA Office, 1041 State Ave., Dickinson, ND 58601, or go to on the Internet.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Kris Ringwall, (701) 483-2348, ext. 103,
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136,
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