Join me in celebrating life

Panoramic farmland with white barn. (Courtesy photo.)

I kicked off the new year by celebrating life. I believe it is time we started doing that in every segment of our life. On Jan. 3, I made my way to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for the 2024 Pennsylvania Farm Show. I have had the great opportunity to be a part of this event several times in the past 20 years and frankly it is a great way to start each new year. 

Trent Loos
Trent Loos

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is really geared toward bridging the gap between food, fiber and fuel producers and the consumers of their products. Nearly a million people migrate to the farm show each year to experience everything that farms in the state provide for them. I was there to judge the bred gilt show and I love working with the people who are the salt of the earth—farmers and ranchers.  

This year Grant Lazarus, a family friend, exhibited the Landrace gilt that was unquestionably the obvious choice to be the Supreme Champion Bred Female at the 2024 PA Farm Show. For those not in the loop on swine show traditions, it is not common that Landrace animals win many Supreme awards, but this was a slam dunk. This bred female was amazing. I later learned that Lazarus has attended 75 consecutive Pennsylvania Farm Shows and it had been 20 years since a Landrace had achieved the Supreme honor. 

Each time I go to the Keystone State. I am impressed with the number of farm families that have found a way to stay in business. I often brag about being a sixth-generation United States farmer but many of these folks in Pennsylvania are approaching 12 or 13 generations on the farm. For example, Grant Lazarus informed me that his family purchased their farm from William Penn.  

When I left Pennsylvania, I flew back to Denver for the 2024 National Western Livestock Show and Rodeo. I have long been a fan of this event because it has, since its roots in the early 1900s, been about real-world people finding a way to sustain their lifestyle, taking care of natural resources, and improving planet and human health. 

The first weekend of the National Western has been designated as Commercial Cattlemen’s weekend. We had two very good discussions about the future of food and fuel production. Although I might point out that it was clear that we are very comfortable talking about supply and demand, feed prices and cow inventory but we struggle when it comes to the issues that the global elite try to bring upon us like the notion that cows are the cause of climate crisis.  

Cowboy Church was held in the Yards Sale Barn Arena on the first Sunday of the 2024 National Western. Dave Schumprint of XOD Ranch gave the message for the morning. Interestingly, I had seen a beautiful young mother with a baby in her front snuggle pouch earlier in the day. It turns out that Bailey was Dave’s daughter and the three of us and Bailey’s husband, Mark, had a tremendous conversation after church. To me, this is the theme of the National Western and every other show that we go to because everything we do there is in the name of celebrating life. 

At the end of the day, you are either celebrating life or you are not. In the farm country that I am so familiar with, we celebrate life 24/7. We are constantly finding ways to increase the opportunity for life to succeed. If you really think about what we do at each community ag celebration, from a county fair to the Pennsylvania Farm Show to the National Western, it is not only a celebration of the history and culture of food and fiber production, but also a celebration of the creation of life. If more folks truly understood that, many of our challenges would fade away. 

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, or email Trent at [email protected].