I’m going to go on a little rant this week. It has been a while since we’ve had one of those, so I guess it’s about time.

I have quite a few friends on social media that are finishing up harvest season right now. It’s been a bear of a season for a number of them. Mother Nature has thrown a lot their direction. Almost daily I can open any of my social media sites and I see post after post of grain cart drivers, combines running, truck drivers hauling loads down the highway to whatever favorite song is blaring on the radio (which lately is heading more toward rap than John Denver), or the almost daily post of someone getting a piece of equipment stuck somewhere it shouldn’t be.

My rant though, is about all these farmers that are showing these amazing compartments on their tractors where they can either keep cold beverages cold or warm up a sandwich. What the heck? I don’t have one of those on the JD3020.

Okay, truth be told it’s been so long since I’ve drove the 3020 that I don’t even know if it starts, but “Mini Me” doesn’t have any of those compartments either. Then I have the one “friend” that is getting meals dropped by every day from a variety of seed companies, banks and even his accountant.

I’m not saying I need “free” stuff. First off, we all know that it’s not really “free.” Second, I get so excited when I get a new jacket or pair of gloves that fit me that one would think it’s Christmas around here. So dropped off meals for this protein-bar-living girl would push it to a whole other level.

But I’m thinking that maybe our local bank, vet clinic, and feed store should get together and invest in a mobile food truck that could go around to ranches during calving season and offer black coffee, breakfast burritos, and maybe a wide array of candy bars. It would be even better if there was a little room that carried, electrolytes, Multimin, and colostrum in the back of the truck.

I would just recommend that maybe the truck would call in advance. I get so delirious during that time of the year that if someone pulled into the calving lots in the middle of the night, I might either try to tag them or shoot the tires out.

I spent two days in Lincoln last weekend meeting with people and hanging out at the Nebraska Youth Beef Leadership Symposium. It’s a program for high school students that are interested in the beef industry. I will say, if this is the caliber of individuals that will be joining the industry in the future, we have absolutely nothing to worry about.

One interesting part of the symposium was Saturday afternoon when the attendees went to Super Saver on 48th and O in Lincoln to interact with consumers and visit with them about beef. This was the first year that this component had been added to the itinerary, and I joined them for a couple of hours, first off to help prepare and then just to stand in the shadows at the store to help if anyone got into a bind.

I didn’t know what to expect, and it was a learning experience for all of us. The diversity of people in the grocery store was vast, and it was so rewarding to see all of the students interacting with people of all ages, backgrounds and ethnic diversity. Sure, there were individuals that blew them off. There were also individuals that stopped at all four of the booth locations throughout the store to visit with the students. It takes a lot of confidence to walk up to a stranger and initiate a conversation, and as the day progressed I could see the students’ confidence growing.

I want to commend the University of Nebraska for putting together a great program. I think experiences like these are important, but most importantly, I learned something that day. I will do a better job next time I see a group in public to stop and listen and learn about what they are trying to share. I think one of the greatest things that I learned that day is we can always do more to educate ourselves.

As the groups were changing out, I was helping watch over one of the booths in the transition. A great conversation started with a couple that was purchasing prickly pear cactus. I learned some great new recipes and uses for the cactus. I may experiment with them myself, and maybe next year I’ll post videos of me warming up cactus sandwiches in my tractor compartment.

Jaclyn Wilson is more than a rancher, raising Red Angus cattle at Wilson Ranch near Lakeside, Neb. She’s an artist with a welder’s torch. She holds leadership positions with several agriculture organizations. She can be reached at jaclyn@flyingdiamondgenetics.com

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