I am humbled and thankful to be among so many friends today and to see so many of my current and former students. Thank you for this opportunity, President Worthen.
I grew up on a large cattle ranch, first near Eureka, Nevada, and later in Kanosh, Utah. I would start the days very early by catching and saddling my horse in the moonlit and frosty morning hours. As the first rays of sunshine would start coming over the mountains, the cowboys I was working with would scatter out and begin looking for cows and calves from among sagebrush flats and juniper-covered hillsides. The sight was surreal as I would watch hundreds of cows and calves being herded toward a corral to be branded and vaccinated.
As a young boy I aspired to be able to rope the calves as my part of the branding. Alternative responsibilities entailed wrestling the calves to the ground, oftentimes resulting in me getting kicked or run over. At about the age of seven, after repeated failures in tackling the calves, I was fina