Not long before lightning struck Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association member Scott Knudsen, it was a beautiful spring day.
It usually is.
He says the COVID-19 pandemic has been a lot like that life-changing bolt.
“Everything is perfect one day and the next day everything is a little discombobulated,” the rancher, horse trainer and now motivational speaker says. “You’ve heard the saying out of the blue? We heard the loudest thing and we saw the brightest light. The lightning went in front of my wife, hurting her ears and eyes for many, many months. But it went in my head and out my hand, the same arm I was holding my one-year-old daughter in. I was the ground.”
He explains the strike raised the water pipes 300 yards away in the back yard and blew out the electricity. Fortunately, their daughter made it out unscathed. Scott’s road to recovery was long, and in many ways, he was on the same level as the couple’s toddler for quite some time.
“We both had crayons, Big Chief tablets, we watched the same cartoons,” he says.
It was months before he could drive. So, his wife would drive him down to the barn, where he found comfort among horses and livestock. Still, it was a tough time for their family.
“But we overcame what happened,” Scott says, adding it made them grow closer. “And like the COVID-19 pandemic, it served as a good reminder to slow down a little and cherish every day.”
He’s confident ranchers will overcome this crisis, too.
“Our industry is always changing,” he says. “The highs are great, and the lows might test our character, but that’s not a bad thing. There are always new ways of doing things. Coming out of these tough times we’re going to be so much better for it. There will be new inventions, new ways of doing our business.”
“The cattle industry has so many entrepreneurs and so many creative thinkers, there’s going to be creative changes that will keep our beloved industry not only advancing in the world marketplace, but creating a solid business plan for generations to come, for your kids, your grandkids — and if you’re blessed enough — even your great-grandkids. How wonderful is that?”
Katrina Huffstutler is the executive director of communications for Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association