When I was in high school, I helped my parents feed their cattle on the weekends.

From time to time, I would have this same really negative thought as we fed the cows.

“All I’ve ever done my whole life is take net wrap off hay bales.”

There is a really mundane quality to feeding cows.

You get a bale of hay, you take off the net wrap, you put the hay into the feeder.

A couple days later, you repeat the process.

When I went home to visit during college, the thought still haunted me.

I knew I wanted to have cows when I “grew up” but it bothered me that I felt resentful toward the work at times.

In another frame of mind, feeding hay can be a rewarding task. It’s fun to see the cows and calves rush up to the new bale and chomp down on their lunch.

Yet, there was a part of me that wasn’t completely satisfied.


Earlier this week, I went to feed a bale of hay to the cows at the Four Sisters Farm where John’s mom lives. As I walked around the bale several times taking the net wrap off, I thought about the old, familiar task – feeding hay.

Only this time, I didn’t have that negative thought from back in high school and college.

A new thought occurred to me: I’ve done something in my life besides feed hay!

I’ve almost written, designed, printed and published a book!

Wild Man: A Mostly True Memoir of a Missouri Cattleman

We’ve sold 39 pre-order copies so far and that negative thought is finally gone.

I hope I can keep feeding cows and writing books for the rest of my life.