Posts tagged ranching
PTO Request: to Look at Cattle

As an adult, the most precious commodity in your* professional life is PTO.

How many hours do you accumulate?
How many roll over?
How many weddings are this year?
Baby showers?
Save a few for a yet-to-be-named virus to knock you off your tracks.
Do you need a travel day for Thanksgiving?
Don’t forget the 10-year high school reunion.

To be fair, these questions are typically reserved for those who leave all that is comfortable of hometown living. Read as: the Haneys. With my family in Oklahoma and Indiana, his in Tennessee and our zip code in Texas – my PTO is as fiercely guarded as the gold in Fort Knox.

Friday, I cashed in the first of my 2015 PTO allocation.

My family's ranch has taken a new spin since I left the Rural Route 3** property. Cliff’s notes: my family is an off-ranch operator for a certain Texas ranch. Because of this, you may have consumed Akaushi beef that hit the ground in Oklahoma.

As a natural inquisitive human, I reached out to the executive director of the American Akaushi Association, who happens to be an Oklahoma State alumnus. Questions. I had so many questions. 

Smiling the smile of a six-year-old child,  I drove an hour southeast of Austin driving against the grain of early-morning traffic. 

Following the curves of the dirt roads, mud splashing on my car, Conway on the radio it occurred to me how quickly I can slip into the urban of my life. Too quickly.

That changed as I drove through the ranch gate.

As I sipped my black coffee, history, industry tidbits and thoughts on consumer research were swapped over a rustic, kitchen table. Our conversation paused intermittently to gaze out to the front pasture. The lush vegetation and overflowing waterways were a drastic comparison to the drought-ridden areas of the country.  

I pulled up the hood on my NorthFace rain gear and we headed to the truck.

With each pasture, I learned more about the Akaushi history in the United States.

With each turn, I was once again reassured the American rancher is doing the absolute best in animal care, nutrition and sustainability.

With each conversation topic, my soul became more grateful for the opportunity to work as a communicator in the agricultural industry.

With each 'grammable moment, I realized I should use more PTO days.


** Per the 911 address system, Rural Route 3 Box 175 has been replaced by a series of characters that I can’t seem to remember. 

What's it like being rural gone urban?

Recently I was asked about the most difficult aspect of my rural gone urban life. Difficult? I get street tacos every day! Every. Day. 

To be honest, though, some days your heart is full of guilt. Panging, real, raw guilt. 

Typically, it's the days you're wearing a light jacket to work while your friends and family are mucking though the mud, snow and ice.

They're pulling calves and breaking ice while you're devouring a few episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians. They're leaving the house after dinner to ensure "everyone's good" while you decide if you should open a bottle of Oregon Pinot. They're facing cold and exhaustion while checking on just one more pasture and you're minding your time by debating between sweat pants or yoga pants.

The guilt comes as you call your dad and he's talking to you about your seemingly non-important urban errands as he drives a sprayer. He always listens like it's the most important thing in the world, but it doesn't make your guilt feel any less significant. 

During undergrad, I scribed my first article on agritourism. It was then I was first exposed to the terrifying truth that the average family is four to five generations removed from the farm. 

When you choose an urban life, you're flirting with that statistic. 

My urban life affords the opportunity to have a direct connection to consumers. I mean, I am a consumer. This intel, if you will, helps aid clients with strategic social and digital plans so they can better tell their story and unveil a new layer of transparency. 

Credit:  Tori Anna Clay

Although I'm not physically on the farm I find new ways every day to connect with not only home, but with farmers across the country. I work harder to tell the story because I know how much agriculture effects not only our lives but the foundation of America. 

My passion for an industry impacting the world is not lost by the attributions of my address.

I am not defined by my ability to choose between five grocery stores in a three-mile radius just as my rural friends are not defined by their indifference of living within the city limits of an urban jungle.