Forage Management: Sometimes You’re Too Close

Nov 03, 2022

By Dr. Gary Bates


There is a picture hanging in the living room at our house. When my kids were younger, we took of photo of McKenna and Jed in a wagon with Madison pulling them. They were on our gravel driveway with the woods in the background. After taking it, we put it through a computer program to make it look like a watercolor painting. Often times when people come over to our house, they look at the picture and ask what it is. If they are standing too close, they can’t tell. We get them to back up from the photo, then it becomes obvious that it is a picture of kids on a road. If you stand too close, it looks out of focus, but when you back up the image becomes clearer. I expect that picture will always stay in our living room because it has special meaning to my wife and I. I look at it and remember the memories from that day and all the others that have come since then.

There is a picture hanging

I wonder if you find yourself in that situation in your livestock operation. Maybe you are so focused on induvial tasks that things seem slightly blurry. You have to get the last cutting of hay, or get that planting done, or get the cows worked, or on and on and on. There is nothing wrong with getting each one of the tasks accomplished. In fact, they may be essential to your operation. But don’t get so tied up in the individual jobs that you miss seeing the big picture.

I am one of the worst at doing this. I have all these things to do at work, and jobs to do around the house. But this morning, like most mornings, I walked with Jed out to his car before he left to go to school. I said a prayer with him and told him I loved him. As I write this article it is 49 degrees outside, clear blue sky, with the leaves just beginning to change color. I am backing up from all the tasks I have and looking at the big picture of blessings that are all around me.

Things don’t always go smooth for me. I’m sure you have the same experience. But don’t let yourself get frustrated with the difficulties you face. Take time to back up and look at the big picture. Drink in the beauty around you and the blessings of your friends and family. You might be stressed so that you can’t see them, but I promise you they are there. Maybe talk to someone to help see the big picture. If you don’t know who to talk to, call or email me and we will figure it out together. I can think of nothing better to do than help someone back up and see the big picture of blessings in their life.

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