THE AMERICAN COWBOY
The European press keeps referring to the United States in general and President Bush in particular as an out-of-control cowboy. Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut went so far as to say that "America must not act like a unilateral cowboy." Language like this upsets a real cowboy it is obvious these people have no idea as to who a "real" cowboy is or what he stands for. Politicians and the like use the term cowboy very loosely because they don't know the difference between a real rodeo cowboy, Hollywood cowboy, rhinestone cowboy, urban cowboy, Marlboro cowboy, Dalls cowboy and a "real" cowboy. To them the term "cowboy" depicts a hard riding', fast shooting', whiskey drinking' desperado sleeping under the stars, cooking beans and bacon over a campfire and only bathing on Saturday prior to riding into town where he shoots up the Longbranch Saloon and then gallops off with the banker's beautiful daughter, as local vigilantes chase him into the Badlands.
At a very early age I knew I wanted to be a cowboy. Over the past half century I have accumulated over 1100 acres of cow country and my wife and I, with a minimum of part time help, maintain a herd of 200 mother cows. I grew up on the back of a horse and learned at a very early age that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person. I knew from experience that a "real" cowboy lives on a ranch and makes his living taking care of cattle and horses. Ranchers are a breed of their own and in most cases they must have been trained as a child in order to endure such a rugged life. Not only must they fight the elements of nature such as late winter blizzards during calving season and drought and hot winds that can turn a lush green pasture into dust within a matter of days, but they constantly face such obscene forces as a market controlled and manipulated by greedy packers and a federal government that is forever pushing them off their own land. With these outside manmade forces in place, the "real" cowboy looks forward to an enemy he can actually conquer: such as an unsocial cow that doesn't want to claim her calf or a bronco colt that would rather pitch than gallop or a quarter mile of fence destroyed during a bull fight. It's much easier to drag a bogged cow out of the quicksand than to convince a banker you need another loan when you haven't shown a profit for the last five years.
The "real" cowboy owns land and understands the value of money. He is self-reliant, independent, compassionate, well disciplined and prefers the company of animals over most humans. In Fact, he will put the comfort of his livestock over his own. In spite of all the hardships he makes peace with himself by having a sense of humor. I've ridden with ranchers all across the United States and in Queensland, Australia and I've yet to find one that didn't tell funny stories. My most pleasurable days are when a rancher from a far-away-place comes to visit our spread or we are in a strange territory visiting theirs. No matter what part of the country or for that matter the universe -- you get in a well-used pickup and spend endless hours bouncing around over the entire property as the driver explains every little detail of his cow operation. It isn't a matter of showing off "what you own," because ownership and pride doesn't enter the picture. It's how a rancher admires the beauty of nature, how he respects the land itself and loves it and wants to keep it for future generations. No -- the cowboy is not vicious. Nature is vicious -- our government is vicious. If a "real" cowboy isn't smiling it's because he's been riding on a cold windy day, and his lips are chapped.
© 2003 Derry Brownfield - All Rights Reserved
Derry Brownfield was born in 1932 and grew up during the depression. He is a farmer and a broadcaster. Derry attended the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri where he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees. He taught Vocational Agriculture several years before going to work as a Marketing Specialist with the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Derry served as Director of the Kansas City Livestock Market Foundation at the Kansas City Stockyard prior to establishing himself in farm broadcasting.
Derry started farming when he was 16 years old and received the Future Farmers of America State Farmer degree in 1949. Since that time the Brownfield Farm has grown to over 1000 acres maintaining a herd of 200 registered Charolias cows.
In 1972, Derry and his partner established the Brownfield Network which now serves 250 radio stations throughout the Midwest with news and market information.In 1994, Derry started his own syndicated radio talk show and he is one of the most popular radio talk show hosts in America. The Derry Brownfield Show can be heard on approximately 80 radio stations in 23 states. With his entertaining sense of humor and witty commentary he has captured audiences for over 30 years. His ability to present an informative talk show while being light and colorful is why he has a large loyal listening audience.
Derry Brownfield is a practical farmer, a practical
business man and a very entertaining speaker. He travels extensively throughout
the country speaking about his common-sense point of view. Web Site: www.derrybrownfield.com
"Ranchers are a breed of their own and in most cases they must have been trained as a child in order to endure such a rugged life. Not only must they fight the elements of nature such as late winter blizzards during calving season and drought and hot winds that can turn a lush green pasture into dust within a matter of days, but they constantly face such obscene forces as a market controlled and manipulated by greedy packers and a federal government that is forever pushing them off their own land."