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Coming together for a common cause
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Coming together for a common cause

This week the Boss Man, Boss Man’s Wife and I head to the big city to get our second round of the COVID-19 vaccine. The verdict is still out for my thoughts on the vaccine, but I love to travel and if I’m a betting person, I bet it’s going to either be required for international travel or make travel a lot smoother if you have the vaccine.

I had the opportunity to go to Brazil with Rotary around 15 years ago. When I traveled there, one of the requirements was that you had to have a yellow fever vaccination. If you did not have the vaccine prior to coming into the country, you would have to get vaccinated before they allowed you through customs.

Yellow fever vaccine has an interesting story. It was developed by South African physician and virologist Max Theiler in 1937. He received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the vaccine. The methods that he used to develop the vaccine, including culturing in embryonated chicken eggs, is still used today. That’s why it’s a challenge for those with egg allergies to receive some vaccines.

With all of the technology that is available today, including the advancements in gene sequencing, I do believe that a vaccine can be delivered quicker than ever before. Otherwise, the verdict is still out. None of the three of us have grown extra appendages or started talking in pig Latin at this point.

Speaking of history, I started an interesting book last week called “Prairie Forge.” My go to for stress relief has always been reading and I usually try to read an hour or more in the evening before I call it a day. I’d really like to thank Midwest Messenger readers Gene and Lois for the recommendation on the book.

It talks about the great national scrap metal drive that took place in the fall of 1942 spearheaded by Henry Doorly (from Omaha World-Herald fame). Drive came about because there was a massive shortage of scrap metal being used by steel mills to make tanks, war planes, battleships and cargo ships for World War II. Doorly was challenged by his wife to quit griping about it and do something. And he did, organizing a contest that within the three-week competition turned in over 67,000 tons of scrap metal.

The Roosevelt administration paid attention and took Doorly’s idea now called “the Nebraska Plan” and spun it into a nationwide media madness. By the time the three-week nationwide scrap metal contest was completed, over 5 million tons of scrap metal had been gathered and turned in. The campaign won the Omaha World-Herald the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

I still have a ways to go in the book, as I interchange it constantly with “lighter” reading, but it did cause me to stop and pause. If we were in a similar situation today, would the United States population come together like they did in that three-week period with a common cause and a common goal? Granted there was a competitive nature about the gathering, but no participation trophies were handed out. Instead, it was the satisfaction that you were doing something to help the country out when it needed it.

I’m going to leave that thought there for the week.

Calving is going along well. There was a little slow down between groups, but the next group is starting to get going. The mad rush will start in in another month. There never seems to be enough hours in the day when it begins.

The first intern for the year arrives this coming weekend. It’s usually pretty exciting for the Boss Man and I (even though we both act nonchalant about it) because there is another person around that will listen to our stories. Though I do have to watch myself. I’ve gotten accustomed to talking to myself or the Four-Legged Holy Terror the last couple months. That habit probably needs to be squashed before some unsuspecting college student arrives.

Jaclyn Wilson is more than a rancher, raising Red Angus cattle at Wilson Ranch near Lakeside, Nebraska. She’s an artist with a welder’s torch. She holds leadership positions with several agriculture organizations. She can be reached at This column represents the views of one person and are not necessarily the opinion of the Midwest Messenger.   

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Jaclyn Wilson raises Red Angus cattle at Wilson Ranch near Lakeside, Nebraska. Send comments to her at

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