Remember to Thank a Rancher I am sure we have all seen the posts across social media about how you should thank a farmer for the food he, or she, puts on your plate. These posts typically mention the amount of food that the average farmer provides for a household in the United States. However, how many of these types of post are about ranchers? The difference between ranchers and farmers can be a bit hazy to some people.

The simple explanation is a rancher raises animals, and a farmer grows crops. Now, farmers do deserve thanks for working all year round from sun up to sun down to help put food on the plates of Americans, but why don’t ranchers get some recognition, as well? Ranchers put in the same amount of work, if not more at times, for the same small pay of a farmer, and yet the only time people seem to look at them is when someone has claimed they are doing something wrong. A rancher’s entire life revolves around their livestock. They do their best to keep their animals happy and healthy their whole life.

I have been involved in the livestock industry my entire life. Through the years I have seen livestock owners who will do anything for their animals. Ranchers across the nation do it every day, some in mild situations and others in extreme circumstances. No matter how cold, hot, wet, or windy it may be outside, they are going to ensure their animals come first. Now you may be thinking, “I thought they were cruel to their animals and only raise them for money.”

It is currently lambing season at my house, which means we have recently had many lambs born over the last month. Every night during this season, someone is in the barn making sure every ewe lamb can give birth with no complications and make it as painless as possible. Ranchers understand that they have a duty of caring for these animals and do not take it lightly. I asked my sister, Brady Evans, who is currently helping with lambing season why she is so willing to do these things for her animals. Why does she choose to stay up until 3 a.m. helping several ewes give birth?

She stated, “I do this because it’s what I was made to do. I went to college and tried to find a different path, but I was drawn back to this way of life. When I am in the barn whether it be 3 a.m. in the morning or 1 p.m. in the afternoon, I am at my happiest with my sheep. I feel God put me there to do his work and tend his animals, and that’s just who I was made to be.”

It is not just about the money or making sure the family can put their food on the table; it is about raising animals who could not do without our help. So next time you sit down and enjoy a full meal with vegetables, meats and all, remember to thank not only a farmer, but a rancher as well.

Evans is a sophomore mass communication major from Snyder.

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