A Youthful Voice...The Advocate Youth Page Savannah Angell

Associate Editor,
Advocate Youth Page

My second oldest sister and the previous youth column writer, Savannah, wrote an introductory article about me last month. I’m pretty sure she wrote it after she lovingly yelled at me on the phone to “Get your article done by next week, please!” Either way, I’m excited to follow in the footsteps of my older sisters by writing The Cattlemen’s Advocate youth column.
Nowadays if I’m not writing, there is a good chance I am running cross country, attending high school activities or working with livestock. This summer I enjoyed doing all of those things, and of course working on the family farm and in the livestock markets.
At the young age of nine, I learned my spot in the pen back alley of Eastern Missouri Commission Company. Before my first step down the alley, I remember my dad saying, “Rule number one, don’t get hurt. Rule number two, don’t get anyone else hurt. Rule number three, remember rule number one and two.” At that time, my job was to open pen gates six through 12 and 19 through 25. Where was pen 73? Do not ask me! Since then I have followed the rules, discovered where pen 73 was, and learned a few life lessons along the way.
The first life lesson I have learned is that time doesn’t stop. Whenever things get a little slow in the back, it may feel like the minutes tick by a little slower. Luckily, they don’t. This may sound silly but I like to apply it to life. Whether school becomes challenging or the cattle market is rough, time never stops and the difficult parts of life will end. This mantra is also encouraging to me while running. Even if I’m hot or worn out I know that time doesn’t stop. As long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter if it’s the 800 meter dash or a six mile long run, I’ll get there eventually!
Another lesson that I’ve learned is often times, life is as good as we make it. It just depends on your attitude. One of my favorite parts of working in the back is “ice cream time.” Just this summer while on a lunch break, my cousin Bekah and I made a quick trip to the local Walmart to pick up popsicles, snickers bars, and bomb pops. In this instance, dessert had priority over lunch! When we arrived back to the barn I followed Bekah to somewhere I’d never been before, Huck’s tool room. While in this plywood room I couldn’t help but notice how out of place the white upright fridge/freezer looked beside the dusty tool bench. Bekah and I placed the latest treats in the freezer ironically next to a preg-checking sleeve filled with frozen bull testicals from the vet. That day, I opted for the bomb pop as my frozen treat and made the most of the workday!
The third life lesson I have learned is the value of tradition. For me, working at the livestock markets during the summer is a yearly tradition, just like Christmas. Although I was never able to meet my great grandpa L.W., I love being able to be a part of something that he was a part of as well. The cattle industry has been a part of my family, and perhaps yours too, for four generations. I am the youth of agriculture and I hope you enjoy my perspective and upcoming articles on this industry we all know and love.