What America should be

I was honored to be asked to emcee the 24th annual Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska, my fourth opportunity to do so. The Cattlemen’s Ball began in 1999 and the goal is solely to be a fundraiser for the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Nebraska. Before this week’s activities, the annual event had generated more than $16 million. It appears that an additional $2 million will be added to the purse for 2022. In light of the current economic status of the nation and the world, it is actually mind blowing to watch people with such tremendous love and generosity open up their wallets and say, “I want to help.”

Each year the Cattlemen’s Ball rotates to different parts of the state. Host families submit applications to be the site of this amazing event. Each of the last three events that I attended had attendance in excess of 4,000 people. This year, I believe the final numbers on Saturday night may have pushed the heck out of 5,000. I give a tip of the hat to Mark and Candi Rathe and Dr. Scott and Karen Lubben as their families did an amazing job hosting the event at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Weeping Water, Nebraska.

Clearly what makes this event so heartwarming to the folks who attend and donate is the fact that every dollar stays in the state of Nebraska. I find that in today’s world, if people know the folks that are in need locally, they are generous to no end. This event does not disappoint in that regard. Dr. Kenneth Cowan, the director of the Buffett Cancer Center, was present the entire time and did a great job bringing the message to all in attendance about how the money is actually used.

The data is clear that cancer continues to affect families from every walk of life. What we clearly see though is the fact that folks who are diagnosed with cancer stand a better chance of a quality life with cancer than ever before.

The one change that has occurred in my tenure of 11 years of involvement with the ball is how breast cancer has become the leading cancer in the United States. In fact, Dr. Cowan shared with me that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, something that has hit my family up close and personal. Both my mother, sister, and uncle are breast cancer survivors, and we certainly appreciate the research and early detection approach.

Editor’s note: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the views of High Plains Journal. Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at [email protected].