Low Stress Farming…

I practice a concept called Low Stress Handling at the feed yard.  This animal handling philosophy is based on understanding how a calf thinks and using that as a basis for cattle handling and care.  I am constantly looking for ways to set my animals up for success by reducing the amount of stress that they must deal with.

Curious and comfortable, these two steers pause while eating linner to pose for a picture while their herd mates take a nap in the back of the pen…

There are many times when I am convinced that I do a better job with my animals than Matt and I do with our selves.  Every once in a while Matt will look at me and say, “Why do I ALWAYS have to be the responsible adult?” Those times are usually at the end of a long day that was riddled with equipment problems, huge volatile market swings, and uncooperative weather…Add in trying to stay in compliance with federal government regulations, manage employees, and operate a business and the thought of going back to high school sometimes sounds pretty darn attractive.

Part of my job is figuring out how to get him to smile at the end of one of those days…

There have been times this summer where our mental fitness has required “getting away” for a few hours.  The psychologist in me recognizes that this is vitally important even though my Type A personality resists taking time off…The strain that I repeatedly saw in my husband’s face this summer motivated the girls and I to kidnap him and head to a lake about 10 miles south of town each Sunday afternoon.

It isn’t hard to talk the girls into going to the lake…Here Karyn celebrates the fact that she remained victoriously on the tube while her sisters were ousted off!

Matt finds release while he water skies.  He is really amazing to watch.  He not only can still almost touch his shoulder to the water as he cuts back and forth (not bad for someone who turns 41 tomorrow!), but he also does a strange type of water skiing yoga

The hills are still brown and we still need rain, but at least he is thinking about something else at this moment…

Water skiing yoga step 1…

Water skiing yoga step 2…

Water skiing yoga step 3…

Water skiing yoga step 4…

There is just something about this sight that makes both Matt and the girls and I laugh.  That laughter helps to refuel us and give us hope that tomorrow will bring good times.  Although I also enjoy water skiing, I am no where near as talented as my hubby is.

I am one mean beef eating machine!

I prefer beating the pool water or going for a run to alleviate stress, but I still cherish those times at the lake with my family when I am reminded to always count my blessings…

How do you manage the stress in your life?


Filed under Family, General

2 responses to “Low Stress Farming…

  1. Nebraska Farm Wife

    My hubby and I both like to hunt. Unfortunately, hunting season doesn’t start till Sept. So after the extra stress of this summer I am looking forward to the piece and quite of the woods. For us it is not as much about the taking of game (although the lean, nutritious protein is always a good thing for the freezer) as much as just the quite time spent together. If anyone needs to work on the communication skills with their spouce, a few hours of enjoying each other company without talking will do the trick! Nothing is more relaxing than sitting in a tree watching nature do what it does. No cell phones, nobody wanting or needing something (If they do tt will have to wait until after dark), just the wildlife doing what they normally do! Every year I seem to witness something in nature that I will never forget!

    • You are right, Bobbi. There is such an inherent sense of peace in a quiet moment interacting with nature. It won’t be long before the season opens for you!


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