People of few words

Ranch No. 1 ranchers move cattle on Oct. 28, 2021, below Jacks Valley Road.

Ranch No. 1 ranchers move cattle on Oct. 28, 2021, below Jacks Valley Road.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

Ranchers occasionally speak in aphorisms and there were some doozies from this week’s Cattlemen’s Update that tend to be true for things other than ranching.

“Never spend $2 to make a buck,” was practical advice for anyone in business.

“Too many to feed and not enough to pay the bills,” applies to lots of things besides how many head of cattle are in Nevada. 

“Make sure the type of cattle fit the environment you’re trying to raise them in,” can be applied to lots of circumstances by changing cattle to something else.

“If you don’t want to take risk, don’t get into the cattle business.”

Participants in this year’s Eagles and Agriculture tours will likely get an earful in two weeks.

Part of preserving Carson Valley’s ranching heritage is preserving the accompanying language.

We know that sometimes ranchers get into character for these public discussions, but it’s not a bad thing to remember the character has been passed down from one generation to the next.

Language frames how we view the world. In a world awash in words, it can clarify or obfuscate. 

A more common aphorism is that “actions speak louder than words,” and though we are in the word business, we agree.

Though, as always, the devil is in the definitions. Making a statement, asking a question, shouting at someone, are all instances of actions involving words.

Words can entertain, they can inflame and they can make a difference in people’s lives.

With the beginning of a new year, let’s resolve to use words constructively.



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