Cattlemen continue to ‘ride into the wind’
Singer/songwriter Brenn Hill lends his talents to support U.S. cattlemen through sales of his CD.
It’s times like these
The cowboys from the men
Hard times have come before
And they’re gonna come again
So you can turn that horse and ride back home
And wait until it ends
Or just grit your teeth,
bow your head
And ride into the wind.
--Brenn Hill, from “Into the Wind”
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association has partnered with Western songwriter/singer Brenn Hill to promote not only Western and traditional country music, but the ag industry as well. Hill, who proudly speaks of being “the sixth generation of a family anchored to the West,” serves as the “musical bridge from the cowboy of yesterday to the cowboy of tomorrow.”
Hill said he wrote the song, ‘Into the Wind,’ when a friend asked him to “write something from a cowboy’s perspective about the tragedies and challenges our country is currently facing.”
During the Dec. 13 U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Horn Wrap conference call, Hill said his inspiration was the August 2005 landfall of Hurricane Katrina into New Orleans.
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association in 2010 adopted the song as its theme song. Hill even explained how this song fits the 2011 drought in Texas.
“Tragedy and challenge are a way of life for the rancher,” Hill said. “It’s a constant struggle. The great state of Texas is facing such a challenge now with drought and wildfire. I see hay trucks headed south from all parts of the West and I pray that Texas ranchers can hang on. But ranchers look to themselves first for the help they need. They ‘take a deep seat’ in the hard times and ‘spur on into the wind.’
“My family and I continue to pray for Texas,” he said. “I believe Texas cattle ranchers will pull through this one as they always have.”
Hill explained why he agreed to serve as a spokesman to promote the ag industry.
“Horses are my hobby, but they are simply a vehicle to what I really love to do, which is day work with friends who are still entrenched in the cattle industry,” Hill said. “Production is a process I understand and I admire the dedication of those who bring agricultural products to the marketplace year over year.
“Cattle growers are the epicenter of cowboy music -- their values are the derivative for the inspiration behind our music,” he added. “Given the chance, I would be a cattle grower.”
According to Hill’s website, he and his music are “part of a growing movement of musicians dedicated to the evolving West.” The website states that Hill is “a member of a generation that’s going to have to fight to hold onto a challenged way of life due to limited water, rising costs, environmental pressure, and changing consumption habits. He [Hill] knows that ranching is a stewardship, a role that implies an uncompromising bond between humankind and the land.”
How did a cowboy singer from Utah unite with the cattlemen’s association?
U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Executive Vice President Jess Peterson, a fan of Hill’s, met the musician during the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival in April 2010.
Peterson asked Hill if he would like to “partner up” with the U.S. ranchers and farmers and Hill agreed.
“The rest is history and good fortune for U.S. production agriculture,” Peterson said.
Peterson and Kelly Fogarty, USCA deputy director of government and industry relations, have turned to Hill’s song, “Into the Wind,” for inspiration.
“Kelly and I remain actively involved in family cattle operations,” Peterson said. “Working for USCA is truly the dream job; however, days can be long and hard. Working on policy in Washington, D.C., can be frustrating at times -- almost to the point where you feel that you want to give up. When those times occur, we just turn on Brenn Hill’s ‘Into the Wind’ and soon we are feeling motivated and rejuvenated to take on whatever D.C. can throw at us!
“Brenn’s commitment to ranchers all across the country is inspiring and motivating,” Peterson added. “The fact that he splits his paycheck with USCA during the holiday season [December and January] is incredible. Brenn understands the importance of a vibrant U.S. cattle industry and the need for USCA to have the dollars to get the job done. We greatly appreciate his support and ask that ranchers from across the great state of Texas and the United States will get involved and purchase CDs at http://www.brennhill.com/.”