Ag and outdoors experiences both teach great lessons

In Wyoming, our outdoors lifestyle often goes hand-in-hand with the agricultural world. I am incredibly thankful for the lessons hunting, fishing, and raising livestock have taught me and my kids.

My oldest son recently had an opportunity to participate in the National Western Stock Show’s Catch-A-Calf program. If you have kids who are interested in raising livestock, look up this program.

In a bit of a departure from my normal format for this show, here’s my tribute to Steve the Steer and Colby’s Catch-A-Calf experience.

Ode to Steve

We pulled in to Denver as green as fresh grass —
We’d never raised cattle before.
We didn’t know then, but looking back now,
We had a year full of wonder in store.

The catching part went pretty easy.
The boy nabbed one in two and a half.
But we came back in May to load up a steer
That was ten times as big as that calf!

But Steve was a perfect first project.
He haltered an led sweet as pie.
A gentleman always when bathing,
And on Colby he kept a kind eye.

I wish we’d known sooner how much we would learn.
This journey has taught us so much.
From how to comb tail hairs to feeding one up,
And pack on the pounds in a clutch.

We’ve also learned how much a fitting chute costs,
And the Sullivan man’s digits, too.
He sent us a Christmas card, matter of fact,
What a prince. It’s the least he could do.

Yeah, we’ve spent more on Steve than that animal’s worth,
If you’re talking just fair market price.
But to Colby, and Amy, and Logan and me,
We’d have done it again — even twice.

The knowledge we gained and the friendships we made
Are worth more than a steer’s weight in gold.
And mem’ries we’ll have ’til the end of our days
Will be cherished more as we grow old.

Our only regret, if I speak for us all,
Is that Steve won’t go home to Wyoming.
That critter will take a piece of our hearts.
Even I will be weeping and moaning.

But the lessons he taught will stay with us.
We’re all better off than we were
Before that day at the Stock Show in 20-16
And this Catch-a-Calf ride. That’s for sure.