Many people, not ranchers so much, but people who aren’t ranchers talk about “saving” species. For example I just saw this story posted by someone on Twitter to save a certain type of wolf. Their solution was to remove cattle from their grazing allotment. How does this make any sense?! What do wolves eat?! Grass? This is just mind boggling. However, we can use this as an example to examine what we are managing for. A good question you might ask yourself is; “What am I managing for?”
When we, as farmers or ranchers start managing for certain things, we often overlook the “whole.” What is the whole? The ecosystem, our family, our community, our county, our state, our country and our world is all apart of the whole. The whole is comprised of wholes within wholes. And, the whole we put most of our time and energy into is caring for our livestock. However, our livestock are not living in an isolated environment. How we manage them affects our neighbors, family, community, county, etc, etc. Most of you know this. So, what would happen if we start to focus our time and energy on saving a certain species? Most likely we would start to make accommodations for that species. This might cause us to spend less time with our family, waste more fuel, neglect our livestock, and overall lose sight of the whole.
Think about what you are managing for and remember that you are not operating in an isolated environment. Everything is connected.
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