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Good For Nothing

Written by Dennis Sun
       I’m always pleasantly amazed to witness how the Wyoming ag community leads the state in giving up its time, money and resources for good causes in local communities. So many sacrifices are made to do some good and, especially in Wyoming, the distances the ag community will travel to volunteer time for these worthy causes is really noteworthy.
    The causes are as diverse as where the people come from. One can go from a leadership role in a livestock or agricultural organization to supporting a political candidate or belonging to a statewide nonprofit organization. Whichever cause one chooses, there is a need for assistance.
    In the agricultural community of Wyoming we have some really strong organizations reaching both statewide and nationally. While some do have paid staff, it takes the grassroots people to really help the organization move forward and create a positive impact. These are the important people who provide the vision and direction for the organization, and being on a board or in a leadership role does not come free - it takes dollars, time and family hardship. I’m willing to bet those in leadership roles most likely never keep track of the dollars spent or sacrifices made to dedicate their time. Their ranches, farms and businesses can really take a hit while they serve in that leadership role. Those with good help, or those who have family at home, are really fortunate, as their businesses will not suffer as much.
    A good example is displayed in the Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom organization. Over the past couple of years it’s been fundraising for an endowment to ensure the future of the organization. The effort for that endeavor has been time consuming enough, but this summer the Education Coordinator left for a position in Arizona and the bookkeeper accepted a full time position elsewhere. Luckily the organization had a very capable person in the office as assistant coordinator to keep the doors open. Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom is close to filling the positions, but it has taken a large amount of personal time and expense to accomplish the task. No one questioned the time and personal expense; they just “got it done.”  
    This isn’t unusual in the ag community, but rather the norm. It is just like the neighbors getting together every year to help one another brand, dock or ship livestock or to help a family in need. It is the Wyoming way and in doing so it makes our state a large neighborhood with extremely dependable and selfless neighbors.
      Some call it the “passion for agriculture” or “giving something back to their community.” Whatever name it’s given, it is alive and well in this state. No one asks for a pat on the back or praises; they’re just doing their part. Never mind the criticisms that will come with a leadership role, those come with life. Countless people have given of themselves with no reward but that of helping their fellow mankind. To be “good for nothing” is the service we render others that is really the rent we pay for our room on earth.
Dennis