Josh Kramer

They are “goated.”

If you’re like me, this phrase might be a bit puzzling. I often hear my kids refer to a person as “goated.” As a farm kid, I understand what a “goat” is, but the first few times I heard it, I had to pry and make sure I heard correctly. Apparently, being called “the G.O.A.T.” or “goated” is quite the compliment these days.

To explain, my kids and I were watching local news coverage during the April blizzard. There were many stories of people going above and beyond to help others, care for livestock, clear roads, respond to emergencies and perform other essential work. After the newscast, my son looked up and said, “They are goated.”

G.O.A.T., he explained, translates to “greatest of all time.” These people had done something great, awesome or exceptional in their field, and my son recognized their “goatedness.”

Now that I am equipped with the lingo of today’s youth, I would have to agree. There are many examples of “G.O.A.T.s” and “goatedness” among us. (If my kids were still reading this editorial, they would surely call it “cringy.” Cringy…perhaps an explanation for another day.)

The April 2022 blizzard will be one for the books, and while the moisture was welcomed, the storm did wreak havoc on many, particularly livestock producers, who were well into calving season. North Dakota ranchers displayed tremendous effort, braving the storm to help herds and care for newborn calves in the harshest of conditions.

Being an agricultural producer is a calling. For those of us not directly involved in agriculture, we can, at the very least, do our part to appreciate the sacrifice and hard work required by that calling – and help others understand the hardships endured to get food to our tables.

Others, too, “answer the call” of service when conditions are unforgiving – law enforcement, first responders, medical personnel, emergency service workers, snowplow operators and, of course, our dedicated electric cooperative lineworkers. They are an indispensable class of public servants, who are trained and willing to brave the storm to ensure people are safe, healthy and warm. All of these individuals deserve special recognition, our thanks and respect.

As North Dakotans, we know better than most that adverse conditions often bring out the best in humanity. When others are willing to lend a hand, clear a path or look out for one another, even in the bleakest of moments, we might just find the right dose of perspective.

Mother Nature will inevitably tee up another storm in the future, and when she does, I’ll try to remember the new lingo I’ve learned.

Now, to teach my kids some lingo of my own…“Grab a shovel!”

Josh Kramer, editor-in-chief of North Dakota Living, is executive vice president and general manager of NDAREC. Contact him at