Manifolds, Manolos and Manure
I want a belt buckle. A big ole dinner plate of a belt buckle. With engraving. Bling. The whole kit and caboodle.
My farmer laughs his butt off at that statement. He knows me. He knows it will collect dust in a drawer. He knows that I would bark at the kids if they get their grimy little fingerprints on it.
Somewhere deep down he knows roughly how much we would be spending on entry fees, hauling, stalls, and bedding to chase that buckle. He tends to ignore how much we already spend on routine veterinarian, farrier, chiropractic, and magnawave care. Tack. Feed. And supplements.
It’s really not about the buckle. It’s about the chase. The drive. It’s about the goals. I ride like I work. I will give 110 percent when I need to, and I will celebrate those times when I don’t have to push. Chasing a buckle makes me push.
Chasing a buckle makes me plan and prepare. And most importantly it makes me set goals. My blue-eyed girl and I ride daily. We walk. Trot. Lope. And pattern. All in an effort to build balance, muscle tone, horse confidence, rider skill, horse skill, and knowledge.
Weekly we throw in at least three different drill patterns at three different speeds: moderate, fast, and Faster. These drills include moves like rollbacks. Suicide pass by. Pinwheels. One arm pinwheels. Texas boxes. Zippers. Sweeps. Circles. Inner and outer circles. And my least favorite, the figure eight merge. Each time is videoed, reviewed, and critiqued. How else do we improve?
At some point you have to ask why. The answer is to take another step. To move one step closer to the finish line.
Goals are always in the driver’s seat. An overriding goal that guides my work is to serve Farm Bureau members. I continually work to represent member interests in discussions with lawmakers and their staffs while also ensuring that members are aware of Farm Bureau’s efforts on their behalf.
Through our grassroots policy development process, members are in the driver’s seat. They guide our policy development, and as a staff member, my job is to work for its implementation. Even now Farm Bureau has listened to members and is in the process of reviewing the policy sections on finance and education.
An aspect of serving Farm Bureau members is education. Part of my role is to educate members about the extreme importance of being involved in the governmental process. Individuals must learn about the candidates, the issues, the impacts of the office on your life and your family’s lives.
Something I believe fully in is that the most important offices are those that impact individuals’ lives on a daily basis. These offices are not the President, US Senate, or US House. These positions are important, of course, but mayors, aldermen, township officials, Illinois Senators, and Illinois Representatives impact individual’s lives multiple times on a daily basis. They control garbage pickup, road repairs, property taxes, school funding, how and where individuals can build their homes, how many animals an individual can have on their property, and where your neighbors can place an outbuilding.
Goals guide our efforts. They provide benchmarks for achievement. They ask us to achieve more. To give more.