I’m too busy….

If I had a dollar……nope, never mind! I’m not going to start this post like that. You know how the saying goes so no need to repeat it. The title of this blog is something I hear on a daily basis in higher education. Take the phrase “I’m too busy to _____________” and insert whatever activity you like into it and I’ve probably heard that excuse. I hear it from students daily and I thought I would put a bit of perspective on the phrase. 

When you say you are too busy to do something (judging team, study for a test, go to class, etc.) you are really saying that you do not want to make the time or exert the effort to do that. Or the activity is not worth your time and effort and you have better things to do. Most of the students I hear from think they are so busy all the time (some actually are) but most of them actually waste hours out of their day doing meaningless things or things that solely benefit them (Netflix binge anyone?) I’m not saying you should quit watching Netflix, if that’s your way to unwind then perfect! We all need stress relief!

What am I saying is this, think of all the people in your life who MADE the time. Think for a minute. Maybe it was your soccer coach helping you after practice with extra drills. Maybe it was a teacher in high school who stayed late to help you understand a calculus problem or your neighbor who taught you everything they knew about raising cattle. Whatever the activity was and whoever the person was, just think about the time they spent on YOU instead of Snapchat or Netflix. 

If livestock folks had this mentality we would be in a world of hurt. “Sorry Doc but I was just too busy to give those calves that vaccine you suggested, now I’ve got dead calves, I guess that’s ok.” Or how about “Sorry Junior but I can’t work with you on showmanship today, I really have to take a nap, you’re just going to have to keep losing and try to get better on your own.” What if our veterinarians were always too busy? What if the agriculture community only looked out for itself?? And always said “I’m too busy.” What would the other 98% of our population do if agriculture was just too busy to produce food? 

Think about that. Lucky for me, and everyone involved in agriculture, our kind of people are hard workers who work late nights and early mornings to produce an abundant and safe food supply. Our kind of people spend their weekends working on the farm instead of sitting with their phones, building fence or working cattle instead of watching tv all day. I know several young adults who are very busy, but they thrive at this! They jump at opportunities to help with a class or research. They are excited to help with an event or participate on a judging team. And you know what? Those are the successful young adults who go on to do big things. They will be the movers and shakers in our industry in a few short years. They will make a difference in their communities and they will reap the benefits of being busy and motivated while in college. 

So the next time you say you are too busy really think about what you’re saying. Think about the bigger picture that’s in front of you if you would look up from your smartphone. I promise you life only gets busier as the years go on, and after college, hours and hours of free time are very often a thing of the past. Next time your high school Ag teacher asks you to participate on a judging team think about what they are really asking. They’re asking you to let THEM spend hours and hours teaching you about livestock judging or soils judging, to spend days traveling to and from contests and practices only to let you participate in a contest where you have a high chance of getting your name called and recognized for your hard work. Or even winning scholarship money! As educators we want our students to succeed. Grab life by the horns and just keep on keeping on no matter what curve balls are thrown your way. We can’t teach everything in a classroom, and often times life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So step outside of it and do something. 

Make the time to try something new, help a friend study for a big exam, take a chance and join that club your roommate likes so much, join a judging team and travel the country (it’s a big world outside of your hometown). Whatever you do have fun doing it and make the commitment. See it through to the end and I promise you will learn valuable lessons from that experience. You may not know what those lessons are immediately, but you will recognize them later in life. 

Agriculture sure isn’t too busy, so why should you be too busy? 

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope breeding season is off to a great start for my fellow sheep producers! 

-Jessy Shanks 

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