My time as the FCA President is coming closer to an end. These last eleven months, I must say, have been a truly great, enjoyable learning experience. I thank each of you for allowing me the honor and opportunity to sit and serve in this seat. It has been a privilege for this simple ole cowboy to live this great lifestyle. I am truly blessed to be able to get up each morning, show up, participate, and most importantly never give up on any opportunity to #opengatesopenminds. THANK YOU All!
Now let’s talk about our Cattle Industry’s future here in Florida. Hmm, what to say? We are surrounded with despair and fear in the world around us? Is sin, war, cancer, and sickness stealing our hope and causing us to doubt if there is anything good ahead for us? And now, is this ole cowboy is going to tell us about our future? No, I am not! My goal is that we all open our eyes and recognize there is HOPE if we simply open our eyes and see what is truly around us. We must also recognize it is up to us to roll up our shirt selves and work together to build solutions for the future.In Jeremiah 29:11 God tells us “For I know the plans I have for you,” Declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This sentence tells us we have a future and I firmly believe it is what we make of it. No matter what is thrown our way. The hurdles in life are what molds us and makes us who we are as a people. Are we willing to #opengatesopenminds to build the future that is offered to us or are we going to sit in despair and fear and allow the negative to prevail and rule over us? I, for one, will not sit in despair or fear! Again, I will say, that our differences are what makes this nation the greatest in the world. We must get back to the point of common ground and building solutions to issues rather than letting the differences tear us apart even more. There is no free lunch. We all have to work and contribute to the betterment of our society.Let us refer back to the five founding ideals of America –equality, rights, liberty, opportunity and democracy. Equality means there is no prejudice in society and we are all equal, ensuring no-one is more or less important, despite our skin-tones and religions. Rights give us various privileges so we can express our opinions through various avenues whether they be protests, petitions, etc. Liberty gives us freedom to live our life, make our own choices, and behave how we want. Opportunity gives us the chance to pursue our dreams, whatever they might be despite other people’s opinions and do what we want. Democracy, the last but not least, ensures everyone is happy with the laws being passed and everyone gets a say in how they are being ruled. Together, these ideals are important because they are the principles that America, as a country, is trying to achieve.
Ok, I will get off the high horse. These last two months of my term we, from Archbold’s Buck Island Ranch, would like to share some of our thoughts and insights on the future of our industry here in Florida. These are derived from our 30 years of experience being on the forefront of listening, researching, and sharing the knowledge we have gathered across the diverse paths we travel between industry, academia, government, non- government organizations, and public perception. You will read words like collaboration, sustainability, environmental challenges, market forces, climate variations, changes in perception, Global PES, Carbon Markets, Farm Bill and USDA pillars and priorities moving ahead etc. Our goal over the next two articles will be #opengatesopenminds as we share what we have learned and perceive to be the challenges we face today and the future of our industry right here in Florida, as well as the challenges of global pressures. Please make sure you read these last two special articles to get the overview of challenges and perhaps some solutions to build the future of our Florida.Our mission at Archbold and Buck Island Ranch is to build and share the scientific knowledge needed to protect the life, lands, and waters of the heart of Florida and beyond. Therefore, before you say ** please take a second and open your minds as we open our gates to share what we have learned with all around us and help build an understanding of our ranching lifestyle here in Florida.
In closing, I again say, THANK YOU ALL! I am a truly blessed man for the opportunity to serve God, Family, and work in this capacity over these last 11 months. As we push forward into the future remember this verse.
20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
Please let us all reach out, build our membership, and keep up the good fight. Your association is always working for you.