Both my grandfather and my father always preferred Black Angus cattle. I personally thought Herefords were much better looking cows. Naturally, therefore, I once asked my father why we did not have Herefords. His answer was that the much thicker shoulders, neck, and head of Herefords made the birthing process much more difficult. Compared to Angus, far more Herefords than Angus cattle were lost in birth.
Given that we were raising cows for a living and not a hobby, one can see how the higher percentage loss of calves would soon affect the bottom line.
Years later, I read somewhere that Herefords were preferred more out west because of their build. Their bulky head, shoulder, and neck areas made it easier for them, like bison, to plow aside snow and hunt for grasses underneath during wintertime.
But I recently came across another reason why Herefords are preferred out west. It too has to do with wintertime, chiefly with snow drifts.
World renowned communicator Chad Hymas shares the following story about Hereford cattle.
An old cowboy once told a story of how he had worked all his life on ranches where each year winter storms took heavy tolls among the cattle. Temperatures often dipped quickly below zero and freezing rains whipped across the prairies, driving flying ice cutting into the flesh. Howling, bitter winds piled swirling snow into enormous drifts so that any error in a person's step could send him plunging into a mountain of freezing white powder.
In this maelstrom of nature's violence, most cattle would turn their backs to the ice blasts and slowly drift downwind until, intercepted by a boundary fence, they would huddle together against the snow-covered barrier. Standing motionless and helpless against nature's fury, the herd would slowly become covered by blowing snow and cattle would die by the scores.
But the Hereford breed reacted much differently. These cattle would instinctively head toward the windward end of the range where they would stand shoulder to shoulder with bowed heads, facing the storm's icy onslaught.
"You almost always found the Herefords alive and well," the old cowboy said. "I guess that's the greatest lesson I ever learned on the prairie -- just to meet adversity head-on and face life's storms."
Here, we see the importance of facing the storms of life. True, whenever storms come our way, be they physical, financial, relational, or whatever, the tendency is to turn away from them and allow them to push us along.
But the best thing to do when one faces a storm is just that: turn into that storm and face it! At the very least, this allows us to have more control over the outcome of this unwelcome outside force. More importantly, it helps to keep us from being pushed into some corner where we do not need to be.
I leave you with a famous quote from Louisa May Alcott, who once said, “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship!”
Chad Hymas has been described by the Wall Street Journal as “one of the 10 most inspirational people in the world!” He uses his God-given talent to inspire, motivate, and move audiences, creating “an experience that touches hearts for a lifetime”.
When Chad was 27 years old, his life changed in a split second. He was crushed by a 2,000-pound bale of hay that shattered his neck and left him paralyzed from the waist down. As tragic as this was, Chad nonetheless chose not to become bitter, but better, by making the best of the worst situation. He reinvented himself, becoming a best-selling author, president of his own communications company, and recognized world-class wheelchair athlete.
He travels up to 300,000 miles a year challenging people around the world, and has been utilized by such corporations as Wells Fargo, Blue Cross Blue Shield, AT&T, American Express, Prudential, and Merrill Lynch, to name but a few.