Stay the course in New Year provides a usable resolution

Duane Dailey

Maintain and sustain. That’s the best resolution I plan for in the New Year. I’ll be pleased if I stay the course.

I know of no year in which I made a resolution that really made a difference. At this point, life is about taking what comes. So far that’s served me well. I continue to overcome.

This year brought plenty of upsetting changes. But, that’s happened before.

An obituary in Saturday’s paper reminded me. A longtime former coworker, younger than me, passed on last week. We’d just talked in the grocery store as we often did not long ago.

So, the best I know is to maintain and sustain life’s whimsical turns.

I plan to continue those things I’ve changed the most in the past year. Watch the diet. Build my muscles. Keep up the cardio exercise. Walking a mile and lifting weights seems to help my body.

Now, I don’t have a Charles Atlas body like the advertisements I used to see on backs of comic books. My body looks more like the guy that always had sand kicked in his face.

But, for me that works. It sustains.

I’ll admit that well into cardio routine, I felt disappointed when results from the semi-annual heart cardiogram came back. After all that work, I expected a sharp increase in heart function. No way. I was a couple of points stronger. But that was in the margin of error.

I told my cardiologist that all that work was a waste.

As he does, time to time, Doc set me straight. “No keep it up,” he said. “Your heart didn’t make a leap forward; but your body is stronger.” I’d told him my wind was better. I wasn’t huffing and puffing as I increased my walking efforts.

He said I need a strong body to carry my weak old heart. That keeps me going.

“Here’s the good news in this report,” Doc said. “Your heart function didn’t go down. You’re stable.”

Okay. I had forgotten I’m the optimist. I grab onto every bit of good news. Grabbing negative words just makes me feel bad.

So, here we are near the eve of a New Year. I’ll maintain and sustain.

I’ll try not to let the craziness in our daily news feed get me down. And, I’ll do my darnedest to write stories of building good news from agricultural research at the University of Missouri. There’s news for bean growers and beef producers.

We’re at the start of great potential for beef producers. With genomics, cow owners make great strides in making quality beef for market. There’s great potential awaiting farmers. With DNA tests, made with a few drops of blood from a calf’s ear, they can see the future.

Culling from the bottom and adding to the top in a herd makes for more profits. It makes quality improvements while making haphazard breeding a thing of the past. With SNP cards, it’s like shortening production testing by seven years, I’ve heard.

Breeding cows is a life-long occupation. With the DNA test even old timers can see their herds improve.

Jan. 5 in Columbia, there will be a celebration at the Missouri Cattleman’s Convention. We’ll look at change by herd owners who joined Show-Me-Select 21 years ago.

I’ve never seen a happier group of farmers than those getting new heifers or paychecks at the Palmyra sale. That’s payback on a lot of stories and a lot of change by those who read them.

The big winners are beef consumers. There is more quality beef going into the food chain. An amazing amount more. And, buyers show their appreciation by paying the price for quality. “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.” Those are words for all.

I’ll just sustain.

Producers make the giant leaps.

They kick sand.

Send a note on your progress to or 511 W. Worley, Columbia, Mo., 65203.