Rural America is the backbone of our nation. It is where family values are based, where respect and responsibility are grown, and where future leaders are developed. Rural New Mexico is the future of this state and the world.
The youngsters and their families featured in the coming pages are not only that backbone today, but will be long into the future. Growing up on a ranch teaches life skills that can rarely be found elsewhere. Ranch kids learn early that respect is earned, not given. They know how to respect others and are polite almost to excess.
Ranch kids learn how to work early and know that you work until the job is done. They know how to do what they are told, but can come up with better ideas, when the time is appropriate.
They are emotionally mature because they see the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly sides of life regularly. These kids know how to act in an emergency, often taking on challenges well beyond their years. They are trusted and know how to trust.
They know how to dress for the occasion, whether it is a 12-hour day in a pasture or in the show ring or rodeo arena.
They know how to spend time on their own and are comfortable in their own skins. These youth are already leaders among their peers and they will continue to grow into leaders for state, region, nation and the world.