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Courage: The “C” Word for 2020

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By Todd Fornstrom

2020: The year of the “C” word that millions of people think – COVID-19.

However, I believe the more fitting word is courage. The ability of being courageous and working hard during a time of unknowing is why I think it represents 2020 in my world. For this matter, perseverance, independence, responsibility, persistence, opportunity and long term are the words I think represent 2020 in my world. 

It’s amazing how optimistic farmers and ranchers are in general. The frame of mind will always have more influence on outcome than almost any other factor.  These past nine months are a great example of the resilience of people in agriculture.

Farmers and ranchers didn’t necessarily think of themselves as “essential” in the way we had it assigned to us, but more along the lines of home-grown food is always better than food from afar. 

By the way, our livestock and crops already let us know we are essential.   Without us, Bessie the milk cow is not a happy camper because she doesn’t take weekends, vacations or pandemics off.

In the world today, people think in terms of days, hours, seconds and even nanoseconds. We in agriculture have come along with this technology, but we still think in terms of growing seasons, years and life cycles.  Some crop rotations last as long as 10 years and developing blood lines can take longer than that.  

The importance of a strong mindset coupled with a robust support system is most important for mental health.  It’s not a profession for the weak of heart, but it is one of the most rewarding.

Farmers and ranchers are looking up and looking to the future. Optimism has to be the middle name of anybody who farms or ranches. Right now, it feels like we are coming out of a long, cold winter and hopefully the spring skies are on their way. 

These are the characteristics drawing me to Farm Bureau and its members.  Come rain or shine, Farm Bureau will be here to develop policy and stand up for agriculture.

Todd Fornstrom is the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation president. He can be reached at

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