A Cowboy’s Faith: Generations’ different appeal

buchmanhead“It smells like money to me.”

That was the opening line to our sophomore vo-ag speech that rated the booby prize in FFA competition. There was only one other entry, it about paper mache dolls, at 4-H club days, and we both got blue ribbons, likely because the judge didn’t want to hurt either one’s feelings.

Our son and grandson are much better talkers about the hog industry than we ever were; perhaps their heartfelt fondness for the business is stronger than ours ever was.

This wanna-be cowboy threw a fifth-grade conniption when Mom insisted we had to have “mortgage lifter” hogs, if we had a place to keep a horse. She won.

After we didn’t do any good on our horse talk as a freshman, one of our cowboy heroes teased us we ought to give a hog speech. So, we related about our garbage feeding operations.

Even though contention of the speech was profitability, obvious stinky and not-so-consumer-appealing, feeding restaurant and slaughterhouse aftermaths to hogs didn’t get favor from judges nor listeners.

Yet, as our grandson talked about the hog partnership with his dad and mom, judges and everyone in audiences listened intently, and he came away with top blue distinction.

Our first gilt, a Hampshire, had twins, and one of them didn’t survive, so we weren’t off to a good start. Being the slow learner we’ve always been, hogs continued to be part of farm operations for two decades.

Long enough, our son, daughter and grandson have industry affection, inherited from their mom and grandma, always winning hog show competitions.

Still makes us wonder how she kept from leaving the night we introduced her to our parents, after we got last place attempting to show a hog.

Despite mixed up horse-hog genes, son and family continue as successful pig producers, much sophisticated from slopping hogs five decades ago.

Hogs have often been a controversial food as pointed out in Leviticus 11:7:  “The pig, with cloven-footed, and not chewing the cud, is unclean. You shall not eat any of their flesh.”

Reminds us, in reality, First Timothy 4:4: “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.”  And, Acts 10:14: “With all sorts of animals, reptiles and birds, Peter is commanded to eat the animals.”


Frank_BuchmanFrank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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