Eternal Optimists: How Texas Ranchers and Farmers Cope with Extreme Drought

One way to break this cycle is through rain. The rain helped the crops to grow. Rain moistens the animal. The rain will support farmers and ranchers, Bauer said.

“Water is our livelihood,” Bauer said. “If you are a cow, calf, producer, farmer, wildlife. We have to grow food, we have to grow plants on the ground—they can’t grow without water.”

Bauer has been a rancher all his life, and even in the worst droughts, he said he wouldn’t trade his profession for anything else.

At the Texas Farm Bureau meeting, Bauer said someone asked if any of the farmers and ranchers in the room had played. Everyone looked at each other, no one raised their hands, he said.

Then they admitted that yes, they were all gamblers — optimistic, Bauer said.

They are gamblers who put seeds in the ground with the hope that a crop will grow. They are gamblers who breed cows and hope that the calf can be sold in a few months.

“Yes, we’re gambling, but we’re proud of it,” Bauer said. “Because the main thing is that we can feed the world.”

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