Written by Brian Frizzie, an Agricultural Science senior.
The American Dream. It is such an ambiguous, ever-changing term. For some, it is a suburban house, with a white picket fence, a husband or wife and two and a half kids. For some, it is merely having a job that supports a family. Others view it as moving to the big city and becoming financially successful. Yet for some, it is a much more traditional aspiration.
For those lucky few, the American Dream consists of something very different. It isn’t becoming a millionaire, it isn’t living in suburbia and it isn’t working an indoor, office job. It is the dream of ranching, the dream of farming. Some lucky people hope to someday own their own property, their own acres of land with their own cattle grazing. A large, fancy house isn’t necessary. A fancy car that gets forty miles per gallon isn’t wanted. Working cattle and working the land is all that those who have this dream wish for. This is a dying dream. Very few still aspire to this dream and even fewer are ever able to realize this dream.
Land is incredibly hard to come by these days. Either large farms with lots of resources gobble acres up as they become available or land developers purchase them in order to turn over a quick profit. A young man or woman, even with a college degree, has little hope to ever have the means to buy land of any significant size. Most can only hope to either possibly lease land from a land owner and run their own cattle on the leased property or be hired on to work someone else’s cattle for them. There are loans available to those with the sufficient credit. However, even if they are able to take out these loans and buy the land, cattle and equipment, they will spend the remainder of their lives working to pay off the debt that they have now taken upon themselves. With the hope that someday their hard work and dedication will pay off and they are able to accomplish their dreams, they continue working, saving every nickel and dime possible, hoping against hope.
This dying dream is passed down from a dying breed, a breed of men and women who have lived their entire lives working to own their own land and run their own cattle. It is a dream of pride, a dream of the American promise that if one works hard enough, they will someday be able to flourish and succeed.