Want to hear more about agriculture, food, farming and ranching? Be sure to follow all of my posts and updates on my other blog AgricultureProud.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Despite this weather...

Despite this nasty weather that is setting up in Oklahoma this winter, I am relatively upbeat. I just finished a game of intramural basketball. Stinking mercy rule, we were just figuring out what we were doing. haha, but you can't expect too much from a group that has yet to practice together. I was having fun anyway. Well I have a lot of things on my mind, so here we go!

Tuesday there was a college of Ag career fair on campus. I talked with the recruiters from JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeders and got an information interview that afternoon. I have worked in the feedyards before; a life time in the stocker industry and retaining ownership of cattle through the feedyard and a summer spent working with Cactus Feeders in their many yards throughout the Panhandle. The feedyard trade is something of a routine that includes daily circles to keep the cattle fed and healthy. Not exactly an overwhelming first choice on my job search list, but Fiver River's professional development programs are what caught my eye.

Five Rivers has a Management Trainee program that focuses a lot on professional and personal development. It says a lot about a company that takes great stock in their employees and works on building the company up from the inside. Leadership and Management training workshops are just the start of what seems to be a focus on building their employees.

The interview went well. Not my best, but well enough. It got around to the management decision questions and that is where I felt like I started slipping a little. But we will have to see if I get a call back. One question that caught me off guard was "What is one of your biggest failures?" I honestly said I couldn't think of one off the top of my head, but to be honest I can't really count anything as a total failure because there is ALWAYS a lesson to learn from each situation. Not an ideal answer, but I thought it was a good honest one.

I am starting the first round of tests for my last semester! I really didn't study hard for my Stocker/Feedlot test, but it isn't really new information to me either. I am learning things, but none of it is foreign to me. I think I did well on it, but we shall see. I have 3 more exams next week, Reproduction, Forage/Grazingland, and Farm/Ag business. I will start working on those tomorrow.

It looks as if we are stuck in a very wet and cold pattern for the winter here in Oklahoma. I believe we are only 4 inches away from a seasonal record for snowfall. Granted that is only 24.5 inches. It is so wet and muddy that I can't even work. Too muddy for fence work and when I think about it, I would prolly just get all the vehicles stuck. I guess I will just have to ride it out on what little money I have saved.

My dad finally closed the deal and purchased his own livestock auction. It's a dirty industry where it's and claws trying to get a hold of cattle and scratch the surface to make a profit. No one really looks on cattle auctions with a high level of respect, but there is a lot of work that goes into recruiting buyers and gathering sufficient cattle to meet their desires. All this following one of the most difficult years in the cattle industry. Everyone has to find a niche in their area, and dad believes it's his spot to make a difference. I am wishing him the best and hoping that things can work out great for him. It's a big investment!

At the career fair on Tuesday I talked with the recruiter from Texas Christian University's Ranch Management program. I have looked into the program before and have heard only great things about the program. This is a one-year certificate program focusing entirely on ranch management. The group travels many miles throughout the year visiting the region's operations. My main apprehension is money. I have no savings left, but would love to continue my education to make my opportunities greater in the area of ranch management. I guess all I can do is apply and see what the response might be. What is your opinion of TCU's Ranch Management program?

Whew! That is a lot, but like I said I have a lot on my mind. It's getting busy here in Stillwater, and so am I while looking for opportunities to launch my career in the cattle industry. Wish my luck!