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Determination – A Core Trait of Our Industry with Bob May


Bob May has been in the cattle industry for many years and he has seen his fair share of wins as well as experienced some losses along the way. We sat down with Bob to find out what has shaped his perspective on the past nine months.

Bob has built a well-respected cattle operation, has accumulated wins on the national stage (The National Western Stock Show, American Royal, The North American International Livestock Expo to name a few) but if you ask him, he puts his pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else. His ultra-competitive spirit is only matched by his humble attitude. Over the course of a conversation with Bob, you won’t hear him talk about his wins or success, but what he’s learned along the way.

He talks about the time he thought a family he knew had it all together – success at every corner that looked like it came with ease. Then he found out the struggles that family was enduring, to which he realized that everyone has their share of challenges and struggles in life. Struggles that no person is immune to because it operates outside of wins, wealth, or reputation.

Or he might mention how he has learned to deal with a judge’s decision that he didn’t agree with. Bob also calls on the days when wins were few and far between, which has taught him just as much as the wins have.  Its the years of experience, going through tough times and enjoying good, that has encouraged Bob, even during the current times. Bob recognizes that the lessons we learn as Livestock families translate past the show ring. We call on our resiliency and determination in the ring but even more so during the unknowns that come during times like the ones we are experiencing right now.

Those types of attitudes are what Bob encounters today, even during “Corona times.” You can see Bob’s eyes light up as he talks about the people he encounters while he’s on the road. He recalls their upbeat spirit, especially when they talk about showing and the anticipation for shows in the future. Bob credits this mindset to the identity of our industry, which is, as he puts it, is “no quit.” “We can’t quit because we don’t have a choice…We are a determined bunch.” Determination is the hallmark of the Livestock industry. The last nine months have just revealed it.

When asked what Bob would like to tell the industry, he remarked, “We don’t have a choice but to keep our head down and go. There’s no quit in sight because we are not just show families, we are farmers who are responsible for feeding the world. We can be encouraged by that.” As we continue to move forward, facing uncertainty, Bob urges us to remember who we are as an industry – competitors and friends who set the example of hard work, determination, and resiliency.

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