Cattle faith

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There are opportunities in life we simply cannot pass up. For me, one of those opportunities was to serve as editor for Drovers and help lead this well-respected brand into the future. As a Kansas farm girl, this is not just a tremendous professional opportunity. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.

Mary Soukup But who am I and why should you trust what I have to say? Here’s a glimpse into my background.

As the third of four kids in a Catholic family, most every Sunday morning revolved around mass when I was young and still does today. While I wish I could say I remember every sermon, the reality is that there are some that have stuck with me throughout the years. One of those happened at St. Patrick’s in St. Joseph, Missouri. In one sentence, Father Matthew had me hooked and changed the way I looked at my father and production agriculture forever.

In discussing his background, Father Matthew simply said, “I didn’t have enough faith to become a farmer so I became a priest instead.”

Did I hear that right? Not enough faith to become a farmer? At the ripe old age of 12, I couldn’t fathom a calling in life that needed more faith than the priesthood. What was he talking about faith to become a farmer?

Then I thought about it a little harder and have thought about it regularly since.

In his early thirties, my dad answered his calling. He took an enormous risk and bought a farm, complete with falling-in barns, rutted-up fields, failing fences and a herd of old cows. Fast forward through 19 years of setbacks, sacrifices and a lot of good, old sweat, and Geiger Farms is a productive and successful farming and ranching operation in Doniphan County, Kansas.

Dad, like farmers and ranchers across the United States, gets up each day and goes to work knowing full well that he is at the mercy of an often unforgiving Mother Nature. He knows that markets swing, sometimes in unpredictable manners. He knows that with each election, there are fewer elected officials who have a direct tie to the land or understanding of the industry. He, like so many, does it anyway.

Maybe some would say I’m similar to Father Matthew and appear not to have enough faith to join the ranks of American farmers and ranchers. I disagree. In addition to working alongside my husband and his family on our Central Kansas farm and ranch, I get to serve this industry by leading Drovers in a new direction.

While you can count on Drovers to continue being a trusted and reliable source for concise, accurate business information for the cattle industry, here are a few things to look forward to in the future:

  • Insight from well-respected industry leaders as we bring new contributors to Drovers/CattleNetwork both online and in the magazine
  • Up-to-date information for producers, key influencers, agri-business and consumers
  • Techniques and production tips to help farmers and ranchers improve their operations
  • A fresh look for the magazine

This industry looks much different today for young producers like my husband than it did when the first Chicago Daily Drovers Journal was published in 1873 and when my dad started out in the 1980s. So, too, does the world of communication.

We are taking a new direction at Drovers, and I look forward to working with many of you in the future and welcome your feedback as we work to improve our services as America’s beef business source.

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c andrews    
ks-chicago  |  November, 07, 2013 at 10:00 AM

wow Mary no one nailed it better. Agriculture production is operated by the best people in all of Gods creation. Faith in bad times parallels "hard times make good people". People of the land have their souls invested and proud of it. One of my mentors in life Fred Bettenbrock, taught me "all a person needs in life is plenty to eat, plenty to drink & a dry place to sleep". That carried me some really tough times. Anybody can handle good times the real measurement is how to handle the bad times. Rudyard Kipling's "IF" "If you can stand when all about you seems to fall then my son you are a man"

th in iowa    
November, 07, 2013 at 01:02 PM

Well spoken and nicely written - Welcome to Drovers!

November, 07, 2013 at 03:53 PM

Sorry but "was to serve as editor", does this mean you were the editor? Or you have accepted the position and are the current editor? Just a little confused.

Doug H    
Illinois  |  November, 08, 2013 at 07:41 AM

Having been a farmer and cattle producer since birth, a former agriculture teacher and currently a professional seeds man, I have always surrounded myself with passionate people for this great industry. I may never meet you or have a conversation with you, but you have earned a spot amongst the people I follow and learn from. This is how the new era of communication works. P.S. I have two daughters ages 7 and 12. I can only hope I can surround them with enough people like you so they can develop this same passion. Good Luck!!!

Mary Soukup    
November, 08, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Thank you, Doug, for the kind comment!

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