Don’t break a deal with a rancher

Our community is hosting two events this week, the 75th annual Williams Lake Bull Show & Sale and the 22nd annual William Lake Indoor Rodeo.

Our community is hosting two events this week, the 75th annual Williams Lake Bull Show & Sale (April 19/20) and the 22nd annual William Lake Indoor Rodeo (April 20 to 22). Both celebrate our historical ranching/rodeo roots and foundation. The town will be teeming with cowboy hats.

The bulls/breeders have been here all week, as have the many agri-industry sales representatives who have stalls at the Bull Sale Trade Show (stockyards/parking lot). Many of the trade-show offerings are relevant to industries/applications other than ranching (e.g., horse trailers, fencing supplies). Drop by. You might be surprised at what you’ll find there and on occasion there are bull-sale specials — promotions only good, on the spot, on the day. No time to ponder! There may be specials that you can take advantage of.

A conversation (overheard) at the last cattle sale reminded me (in spite of all the modernization) that our industry is still an old-fashioned, value-based business at heart. Older generations of cattlemen generally set great stock in a man’s word, his basic honesty and sense of honour, and you know that has not really changed too much in the last 100 years or more.

It remains a business where a handshake often takes the place of a formal written contract; in spite of large dollar amounts in play, with both parties quite confident that the agreement will be honoured precisely in the terms outlined (verbally).

Break that agreement? Fail to honour all the terms of the deal? Not advisable!

Cattlemen (scammed or cheated) have long memories (and the uncanny ability to pick a renegade critter out of a herd of hundreds); so while the hide may have been pulled over their eyes on a single occasion, it would do well for the dishonourable party to realize that they’ll be branded as untrustworthy, for the remainder of their days.

Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.

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