Karina Jones is a real-life ranch wife in the Nebraska Sandhills and one of the most highly sought-after speakers in the cattle industry nationwide!
It used to be me…..let me explain, today on Ranch Raised!
My past pregnancies were no excuse to slow me down. I rode horses, did chores, worked cattle, all the ranch things. But this pregnancy has slowed me down the last few weeks and it was time to listen to my body and take a break.
Luckily, we have 3 girls who have worked alongside of us their entire lives. Despite it being Homecoming Friday at their school, they chose to stay home and be the crew. They have been thrown in the fire to make mistakes and grow from them. And as I watched from my front window that overlooks our cattle handling facilities, while Marty and the girls pregged heifers with the vet, it was a little bittersweet. I kept thinking, “That used to be me.” That used to be me that pushed cattle by myself from behind. Now I was watching my 14-year-old daughter handle that entire job, horseback, getting her own gates, working the heifers through the bud box, and then holding the heifers with her horse at the back of the alley. That used to be me who sometimes had to work the alley and do all the things at the chute because my husband was pushing cattle.
But, last week I watched my 12-year-old daughter work the alley, keeping the next heifer ready to enter the chute, all while keeping all the preg checking records. That used to be me telling my husband how we should do things, but it looked like our 7-year-old daughter stayed fresh on his heels imparting her wisdom and suggestions. It all got done without me and by the only report that matters, from their dad, it went off without a hitch.
I guess these are the days we have made them for. They prove to us every day how invested they are in this life. And I guess that is what makes them “Ranch Raised.”
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Karina ranches with her husband, Marty, and 3 daughters near Broken Bow, NE. She grew up in western NE, with roots also in southwest SD. The cattle industry and raising kids is her passion.
Watching the cattle industry go the path that it has gone, she could no longer sit quietly at home checking cows, fixing fence, and doing all the everyday tasks wondering when some else was going to make it all better. As she became more active and outspoken on industry issues, she was asked to join the R-CALF USA staff in September 2020 as the Checkoff Petition Campaign manager. That position transcended into her current role as full time Field Director for R-CALF USA.
You can hear her almost every Friday on Your Ag Network’s Hot Barn Report that is broadcast on 60 radio stations with coverage in 9 states, where she deep dives into cattle industry issues and highlights R-CALF’s work on industry reforms. Listen to Ranch Raised on a Your Ag Network hometown station or www.youragnetwork.com where she talks about her daily life on the ranch.