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!
8 responses to “Going to Grass, An Aggie in Nebraska, Summer weather on the prairie, Swim Team!”
Whether directly from Dave himself, or via Matt, Emily must experience at least one dinner time lecture on a topic that at first seems germane, but is non-the-less life altering.
Thanks for the smile, Jeff. I think that you should bring the boys back to Nebraska so that the whole family can have one together 🙂 Maybe we could get Emily to come up with an appropriate topic!
Hope that all is well.
Sounds like your “spring” season is going great.
There is something about turning cattle out to grass that tugs at the heart. For us, maybe that tug is “yea we don’t have to feed hay and look at you everyday.” The cows get pretty tired of us and hay this time of year.
I’m sure you, Matt and the girls are enjoying a new face around the farm and feedyard. I hope you get Emily’s arm twisted into doing a blog post. I really like the 3rd pict of the calves headed out the gate with grass higher than their belly.
Congrats to your girls on a successful track season. I hope they have a great swim season too. Don’t feel bad about the early morning cold swim practices. We took 8 am swimming lessons first thing in the summer. Yes, June mornings can be quite chilly pool side. Character building!
Thank you, Robyn! Hopefully you see Emily’s first post that came up today. I think that I have her talked into doing a series while she is here 🙂 We are really enjoying having her.
Our kids are lucky and have swimming practice from 11:15-12:30 every day so it has warmed up some by the time that they hit the pool. I have to go to work at 6 and the morning is our busiest time of day so we hold the swim team practice in the middle of the day in between sets of farm chores 🙂
I am big on “character building” — my girls have been known (from time to time) to announce that they think they have *enough character*. Usually that comment comes after scooping a bunch of bunks at the feed yard but I could easily see it happening on the pool deck also!
I hope that you all are doing well!
Thank you to Anne and her family for making Emily feel like part of the family. She has never been afraid of hard work so I’m not surprised that she is enjoying her time at the feedyard. I’ve enjoyed the various snap chats; beautiful scenery!
Hi Sherri! Emily is awesome and I think that she is having a good experience. We hope to get her out to the lake this weekend so she can send you photos from there too 🙂
I think I’ve got her talked into writing a series of posts for the blog so make sure that you check them out!
Thank you for sharing her with us.
Yahhh for the girls they all did so well in their respective events.
So glad you got the cows or to pasture. With all our wet weather or eat we haven’t been able to start the garden, do our spring cleaning of the chicken coop, or much of anything but try to keep up wroth the mowing between rain storms.
Glad y’all have some help for a while. I know Emily will have a great time and learn so much.
Thank you, Kim! Matt and I have a lot of fun watching the girls 🙂
I finally got my vegetable garden in last weekend, but I was at least two weeks late due to much of the same weather as you are having. We are behind on chores pretty much everywhere on the farm, but you just have to take what Mother Nature delivers and do the best that you can. The calves were very happy to get to grass 🙂 We have plenty of moisture to grow grass and crops, we just need some sunshine!
Take care — hope you get some sunshine soon as well!