About ten years ago, our farm purchased about 600 acres of grass pasture south and west of the feed yard. We use this grass pasture to graze lighter weight animals in the summer months as well as to harvest prairie hay to feed during the winter months. After a cold and wet spring, the grass has finally grown enough to start grazing so we spent last Thursday going to grass with 134 fall calves.
While I truly enjoying caring for cattle in a feed yard, I also love to utilize the unique resources on our pasture ground to grow calves on grass. These animals will spend the summer season grazing and then will head back to the feed yard when Mother Nature begins to shut down for the year. The animals typically weigh 600# when they go to grass and hopefully will weigh about 750# when they come home in August.
In addition to going to grass, the Feed Yard Foodie family welcomed Emily, a graduate student at Texas A & M University, this week on the farm. Emily hosted Megan and I when we traveled down to Aggieland last fall, and will spend three weeks in Nebraska with us this summer. She arrived on the 16th and we spent the week learning to read bunks, shipping cattle, processing calves, and then taking these fall calves to grass. Emily took most of the pictures included in this post as I am trying to inspire her to take up blogging during her remaining two years in the ruminant nutrition department at Texas A & M.
Emily thinks that her sweatshirt is her best friend in Nebraska, and we are all hoping that she brought some of the Texas warmth with her :) While the prolific moisture received in April and May helped to turn the grass green, the cold temperatures that accompanied it made the start of our growing season tardy according to the calendar. My favorite farmer is antsy for a few heat units and drying days so that seeds will germinate and his alfalfa will grow.
I am hoping to get Emily to write a “guest blog post” or two over the next couple of weeks — giving a glimpse into the Feed Yard Foodie farm from a different perspective. We are laughing that she is very brave to join the general mayhem at our house which is likely to be more challenging than working at the feed yard…
On the home front over the past week, the girls finished up the spring track and soccer seasons. Ashley Grace’s 4 X 800 relay team competed in the Nebraska State High School Championships, Megan garnered 3rd place finishes in Pole Vault and the 4 X 100 relay at the Nebraska State Junior High Championships, and Karyn earned gold medals in the 400 and 800 at a couple of local track meets as well as finishing up her spring soccer season.
After 12 years, I hung up my soccer coaching hat last weekend. Today, I put on my swim team coaching hat to kick off the start of the swim team season. Emily seems to be game to do anything as long as I don’t ask her to jump in the pool when it is 50 degrees outside…
The entire Haymaker Swim Team is hopeful that each of you will send warm weather out to the prairie as they have a really mean coach who makes them swim regardless of the temperature!