Words of Wisdom from 4 of Arizona Agriculture's Ranchers

By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau: “Do the best you can and don’t take life too serious,” a favorite quote attributed to American Humorist and Cowboy Will Rogers. And then there’s Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s official state historian: “Don’t worry about old age, it doesn’t last that long.”

I’m also reminded about what my own grandpa, G.E. “Barney” Howard used to say, “Don't worry about what's in the other guy's pocket, worry about what's in your own,” in response to grandma's concern about selling Avon and wondering whether someone could afford it or not. Most of Grandpa's career was in sales. 

We have our own brand of wisdom, insights and historical trivia from a few of our own rancher cowboys. I give you 4 here:

Dewayne Justice, citrus and cattle, Executive Committee member of Arizona Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors and one of our Arizona water historians: “The Valley of the Sun really was developed by agriculture. The [Salt River] farmers pledged all their property to the federal government as a guarantee against the loan that they then borrowed from the government to build Roosevelt dam. If it had not been for the infrastructure that agriculture put in place and the development of the water -- the water we now use -- would not be here.” 

Jim Parks, Coconino County Farm Bureau President, pilot and rancher: “Roping and flying are some of the most fun activities you can have with your clothes on.” 

Emmett Sturgill, Mohave County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and Rancher: “Your integrity is like virginity, once you lose it, it's gone forever!” 

Tad Dent, Coconino County Farm Bureau Vice President and rancher: Quoting another rancher cowboy, Slick Gatlin, “When Filaree gets about this high [showing about an inch between thumb and pointer finger] it needs one more rain.” 

All words of wisdom to live by.
Editor's Note: All photos were taken by Carl Schultz