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There is nothing better than meeting with someone face to face to build a working relationship. As I said in my last blog post, I have been traveling a lot for work the last couple weeks.  I thought it might be of interest to some of you to hear about some of my experiences, upcoming projects and what I’ve learned about our human need to connect with others. 

The first week of March my husband and I travelled together.  We left our home in Lodgepole, South Dakota in route to our first stop in Aberdeen, South Dakota to visit Greg Tople, a colleague, friend and our agronomist.  I was interviewing Greg for an article in Feedlot magazine on insect and pest control.  Greg not only has a pesticide company, but is also the owner Precision Ag Solutions which provides precision agriculture technology to farmers in North and South Dakota.  My husband was meeting with Greg to go over field maps and creating prescriptions for our upcoming corn planting season. 

After spending the night with Greg and his family,  we headed out the next morning to have lunch in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with our mutual friend, Dave Lydon, a pilot for Net Jets. We continued on to Lincoln, Nebraska.  Unfortunately, I was driving when we hit Omaha at 5 p.m. rush hour traffic, heading east towards Lincoln with the sun setting in my eyes. 

In Lincoln we spent the weekend with the founder of RotoMix, and Bill’s Volume Sales, Bill Pullen, who I was interviewing for Calf News.  Bill was preparing to set out on a National Geographic trip around the world, which was the perfect lead into his many trips all over the world selling RotoMix feed trucks.
I had a few short days at home before I was off again.  This time for some much needed “girl time” to reconnect with two of my girlfriends that I haven't seen in years!  We recreated the sixth grade slumber party, with my best friend from grade school and our mutual friend Jennifer Reisser in one of the most beautiful places in South Dakota; Interior which is a small town bordering the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that is nestled into the sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires of the Badlands National Park and surrounded by the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. Jennifer owns a beautiful store called Native West Trading that we will be building a website for.

The next day I met the most amazing Lakota couple on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.  Not only are they traditional Lakota's who deeply love their culture and live it every day they are also ranchers and amazing stewards of the land. The Fredricks, were interviewed for an article in Range Magazine.

I then headed to Valentine, Nebraska to work with web clients at Plus One Manufacturing, who build amazing cattle working facilities.  And then headed to Lincoln County Feeders in North Platte, Nebraska for an interview for Progressive Cattleman Magazine.  I have never seen a more impressive feedlot, and a more perfect fit for this magazine.  They have a state of the art feed mill and an amazing sorting system that revolutionizes how feedlots can market cattle.

With so much drive time, I couldn’t help but think about how social media has changed human connections and how throughout my trip almost everyone I encountered longed to connect in meaningful ways; which is the best part of my job. 

While social media is great for communicating with people around the world, exchanging information, connecting ideas and businesses, I also believe it is desensitizing human relationships.  

How did we get to the point where the artificial content on our phones is more interesting than the world around us?  Facebook has taken precedence over the real people and events scrolling through our daily lives.  We no longer reach out to reconnect with old friends because their entire life is posted to social media.  Yet, online friendships give a false sense of connection and often lack emotion.

I’m not saying we should completely disconnect from social media, but I believe we should be aware of when it interferes with our greatest asset, our human relationships; and there is no genuine relationship without giving of our time and attention.

Only through our relationships can we give and experience love and make a lasting impact on the life of another.  They are the source of our greatest joys and sorrows. They support us through thick and thin and in the end are maybe the only thing that matters in life. 
 


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