I should have probably aborted the trip before it ever started. Traveling the end of April when I should have been getting cows out to grass probably set me up for failure. However, my wonderful, talented wife and wise, hard-working father (I am still trying to make amends) were there to carry on without me (and probably more capably). My flight departed at 4:45 from Kansas City, we had time to work the cows and calves at my house through that morning, or so we thought.
All I needed to do was to leave the house at noon; if we started right away it would be a piece of cake. Well, it was a piece of something all right, but it wasn’t cake. Actually things weren’t going too bad. The cows didn’t want to come in too bad but we eventually got them. My new idea on how to run them through the chute didn’t work too hot either, however, we fell into a rhythm and things were moving along.
Things were moving along right up until the cow pushed her way through the head catch and lodged her hips in the gate. After about 45 minutes of mechanic work we finally unbolted most of the head catch and freed the cow. This was all just in time to watch the cows in the cull pen go over the gate and mingle with the rest of the herd. Needless to say it was after noon when I got into the house and took a much needed shower (there was no way I would have been allowed on the plane without one).
I am not a fast driver, but that day I was. I stood for fifteen minutes waiting on a shuttle bus from the parking lot (on the return trip, three buses would be lined up at my stop); it was going to be a miracle if I made my flight. I am happy to report that due to some very helpful people on my shuttle I walked onto my 4:45 flight at about 4:44 still putting my belt through the belt loops. I had made it.
My trip was to Louisville (Kentucky not Kansas) and I was quickly reminded that it was Derby week right away. My Uber driver (for those of you who don’t know, Uber is like a cab, only better) told me all about how Oaks Day was like a holiday and that no school or business would be open tomorrow. I asked about getting a cab or Uber the next day. He assured me it would be no problem. The next morning I waited 45 minutes for a cab driver to pick me up, paid an outrageous fee, only to have him drop me off in the wrong place. That is when I contacted the next Uber driver.
He picked me up after the meeting I was going to had already started. I was frazzled and annoyed. He made small talk with me and found out I was a farmer from Kansas. He told me he was a personal trainer when he wasn’t an Uber driver. Then he asked me if I grew GMO crops. My first thought was, oh great, travel difficulties now this. I prepared myself for a debate on the health and safety of foods made with GMO crops.
I explained to him the benefits of GMO crops; how they helped us grow more food, with fewer inputs and less impact on the environment. I also explained that no credible research had ever proven that there was any kind of risk associated with them at all. That is when he cut me off and told me that he had done his own research and came to the same conclusion and that he told this to all of the people he was a personal trainer for. I asked him if he had any kind of a farm background and he did not. My day was made and my trip was no longer a failure.
Maybe, just maybe people are starting to see through all of the noise and misinformation. This Uber driver/ personal trainer from Louisville, Kentucky gave me hope that all of the hard work we are doing in putting forth solid information and telling our story might just be working. Now the rest of my trip did not go any better. My meeting did not go real well, I waited for my flight in the Louisville airport for five hours and I had a middle seat on the flight home but somehow it all seemed worth it.