Let's Take A Sidestep

I have a small involvement within the local sheep industry, which I don’t normally share news about on this blog.  But it is through this involvement that I landed at the 2016 International Rangeland Congress this week (I happen to be the one who lives closest to the 2016 host city, Saskatoon) and where I experienced one of those rare, gifted moments of discovering one of your passions directly overlaps another, causing that feeling of synergy and knowing that really gets your heart beating. 

The Rangeland Congress brings together all manner of individuals, from around the globe, who have a stake in rangeland survival and health.  As many large conferences tend to be, this one is chalk full of science, programs and data, which can only hold our attention for so long.  

Then ecologist and author, Don Gayton took the floor and used story to tell what many were trying to get to the heart of through fact and science.  

Somehow he managed to capture and to tell, just with his words, no photos, no data presentation, of the pristine strength, resilience and soulful necessity of grass and rangeland - for all of us, no matter if we are urban or rural, or what we do.  And how it will be story, as much or more than science, that will drive it home to the ranchers, and convey it to the public and society at large.  Don had the attention of everyone in the room and he ignited a bit of a spark, and a great conversation.  For me it re-ignited a sense of optimism that sharing stories of what I call the everyday-ness of this sheep full, grass based ranching life isn’t a lost cause.  And maybe, just maybe there is potential for a longer story yet to be told.

Tame Grass Pasture


  1. Glad you are able to make a difference in our world. We need folks like you and others who are interested in preserving this wonderful natural resource.

  2. Beautifully said, Arlette. And thank you for being a part of this much needed natural resource. I live in the woods, but on those rare occasions I get to the Dakotas or Montana, the grassland and prairies are always a thrill.

  3. I echo what others are saying.I am happy you have been reinspired,we all need that now and then.I have had people tell me I have inspired them to get on with things..that really gets me going !! What a wonderfully peaceful picture,such a contrast in sky and land..

  4. I hope I can return the inspiration. The more the merrier.


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