“Click your heels three times and say, ‘There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.’”
In the celebrated Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her faithful dog Toto get caught in a wild tornado. They befriend a tin man, cowardly lion and scarecrow. They fight off wild monkeys and experience all sorts of adventures in the Land of Oz before Dorothy famously clicks her heels to return home to the farm in Kansas.
While my story may not be as action-packed as Dorothy’s, it took leaving home in Kansas to fully appreciate and find my way “home.” I did not get transported to the Land of Oz, but some may say five years in Washington, D.C., was a close comparison. Regardless of the route I took to get here, I can say with utmost confidence that working with my husband and our family on our farm and ranch in central Kansas, and serving as editor for Drovers/CattleNetwork is right where I am supposed to be.
The American beef cattle industry, from the cow-calf sector all the way through to the consumer, is changing. Every day there are new technologies being developed allowing us to do more using less. Environmental stewardship and conservation practices are continuously improving our ability to manage the land and its resources. More than ever before, consumers want to know how and where their food was raised. Animal activists are lurking behind every corner trying to catch us on our heels as they work to take meat off the dinner plate. Technology and smart phones have changed the way we do business. Accessing the latest news and market trends is literally in the palm of our hands.
To be successful in today’s cattle industry, you need reliable, trustworthy information from the experts to make business decisions.
Getting back to my story a little bit, one of the primary reasons I am excited for my new role with Drovers/CattleNetwork is the people. During the course of my career, I’ve been fortunate to meet men and women who’ve devoted their lives to improving this industry. In this issue, you’ll read stories from the Atlas Blizzard that struck South Dakota earlier this fall and about the monumental progress the industry has made since “The Cow that Stole Christmas” 10 years ago. You’ll also meet innovators who are the winners of the annual profit tips contest and learn more about Padlock Ranch in this month’s “I’m a Drover” feature.
Regardless of the article’s title, we are closing out 2013 focused on the people in the cattle industry.
Since 1863, Drovers has been bringing the latest information to the men and women who make a living in the cattle business. While you can count on Drovers/CattleNetwork to continue being a trusted and reliable source for concise, accurate business information for the cattle industry, we will be making a few changes to keep up with today’s rapidly evolving 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/Cattle- Network, 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.
• Financial and cattle market information.
While I don’t expect any flying monkeys or witches, with signs of herd expansion taking shape, grain prices coming down from the record highs and beef exports increasing, combined with continued regulatory uncertainty from Washington, D.C., and increasing retail beef prices, we have the recipe for an action-packed 2014.
Now, more than ever, it is important for you to have accurate, reliable information to make business decisions. That is what we hope to bring you with the new direction we’re taking. We are excited for the changes we’re making at Drovers/CattleNetwork and are confident they will improve our services as “America’s beef business source.”