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Ride for the Brand


I know that I talk a lot about cowboys and cowboy lifestyle but that’s because it’s something that I’m very passionate about.  There is a lot that goes into being a cowboy but at the end of the day the most important thing to cowboys is loyalty, and in cowboy culture, there is a phrase for loyalty.  “Riding for the brand” is a term meaning that you are willing to do anything for the ranch you are working for. Dedication is important on a ranch because the conditions are rarely fun to work in. 


It is usually too hot, or too cold, too dry, or too wet, long days, and sometimes longer nights.  Working with cattle is dangerous, they are unpredictable, and people get hurt.  At the end of the day, it would be easy to find a more comfortable line of work.  But as hard as it may be there are always people willing to do this line of work not because it’s easy but because it is rewarding.  In life, there can things like ranching that are difficult.  If we decide to be loyal when these decisions are tough before we get into those tough situations the decision to stick to our morals will be a lot easier. 

In life, you may ride for numerous different brands.  You will likely have a job that will require you to do things that aren’t very much fun. If you are supposed to sweep, sweep to the best of your ability.  It is important to do jobs like this, even if you think that you are too good for that because it shows that you are willing to be humble.  In my personal experience doing every task to your best ability will get you way further than being naturally talented.  This also goes for how you represent your school and family. 

Your actions directly reflect upon them and how people view them, so you need to represent them through your actions.  For example, if you lose your temper in a basketball game and throw a chair out on the court, your family and school will be automatically tied to that action even if only one person did it.  Think of it as the golden rule “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”, only in this case “represent how you want others to represent you”. 

It is not always easy to ride for the brand, believe me I know.  But if you are willing to make some sacrifices, swallow your ego, and always give it your all, people will take notice and you will inevitably be trusted with more.

Eric Peterson


State Secretary