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Travels get interesting with a truck in the shop

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

Well, it was one of those weeks. Sometimes life would be a heck of a lot simpler if it just went as planned, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to happen that way.

I headed out to Nevada early Sunday morning. The heifers jumped on the trailer in the pitch black just fine, and I got on down the road with only minimal amounts of coffee. The trip was uneventful until I stopped at Little America in Wyoming and realized I had a couple oil spots on my foldout running boards.

I have had a minor oil leak that the dealership had looked at and said “we’ll just keep an eye on it.” Well, I kept an eye on it this trip. West of Salt Lake City at a refuel station, the oil spots were making themselves shown on the trailer, too. So, decision time. It was 100 degrees out, I had a couple hours left to my destination and heifers on the trailer. I went for it.

Fortunately, I arrived in Spring Creek, Nevada and got the heifers settled into their new home. They were as excited to get off the trailer as I was to get them off. I stayed with the buyers (and dear friends) that evening, and the next day dropped my pickup off at a local diesel mechanic to get a diagnosis while I was going to be in Reno for a couple of days for NCBA summer business meetings.

I dropped off the pickup on a Monday, and come Wednesday there was still no word, so I got ahold of the local Ford dealership in Elko, and they could get it in ASAP to at least see what the issue was. I had some friends run it to the dealership, and that afternoon while I was sitting in the last general session in Reno, I received a call. While not a major fix, with the year of the pickup it would require them to pull the cab, and it was not recommended that I drive it home. Best case scenario it would be fixed on Friday, but more likely the following week.

Surprisingly, with no cuss words emitted I went ahead and booked a flight from Reno to Denver, to get home and at put in at least a couple days of free labor until I needed to figure out how to get the pickup and trailer home.

I ran into a little bit of an issue when I arrived in Denver as I had reserved a puddle hopper flight to Alliance, but upon further thinking, thought it may make more sense to rent a car and drive home since I would need to make it back to either the airport or Nevada somehow. Since it was last minute, I did not reserve a rental car. I jumped on the first bus I saw, which just happened to be to Fox Rentals.

I arrived at the rental car location, and was told my options were pretty sparse for what I needed.. I went ahead and said, “that’s fine, I’m desperate, run my card.” Then I was informed that even though my debit card can be ran as a credit card, that the company would not accept it. I asked the “lovely” lady where the next closest rental place was and she said just across the road.

If you have never been to Denver International Airport let me set this scene. I stepped outside, and not only are there two cement wall barricades, but an access road. Crossing Pena Boulevard, the main entrance into DIA, would pretty much be a suicide mission. I was not impressed. Fortunately, some good Samaritans gave me a lift and I was soon heading north in my tiny beep beep mobile.

I’m sure this week will be a cluster trying to insert another trip to Nevada, but oh well. Such is the life.

The NCBA summer meeting was really good. More than 600 producers from throughout the U.S. came to attend the NCBA policy, federation, and CBB meetings. I did something just a little different this year and took the time to sit in on the checkoff international marketing meeting. I’m very glad I did.

The presentations from the U.S. Meat Export Federation were very interesting and the questions from the federation and CBB members present were spot on. I’ll go more into detail on this later, including my own policy international trade committee meeting.

Out of all the meetings I attend every year, the summer business meeting is my favorite because there are a lot of good cattle people there that are trying to make a difference.

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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