Chronicles of a Retiring Feed Yard Boss Lady…

I want to begin by thanking everyone who has reached out to me personally over the past week.  Please know how important it is to me to hear from you.  As many of you have guessed, this is personally a difficult time and each positive thought that I receive puts a smile on my face and peace in my heart.

Making “life decisions” requires both a leap of faith and a vision for the future.  My favorite farmer and I have packed our faith — looking forward to a future of continuing to contribute to agriculture in a meaningful and positive way.  Shifting our farm and my role on the farm is simply the product of two responsible farmers figuring out how to do the best thing for their family and their farm.  Change is never easy, but showing grace amidst change is a priority for me both as a farmer and as a mom.

MegKarynbunk2.jpgMany of you will remember a blog post that my favorite blonde cowgirl wrote about a month ago.  The Rainbow Ends At the Pot of Gold provides a list of things Megan reported learning “growing up at the feed yard”.  Not long after Matt and I told our girls that we planned to close the feed yard, Megan asked if she could write a blog post.  I have always encouraged the girls to take pictures/write/and generally contribute to the blog so my immediate answer was “yes”.  That weekend, I came home from working to find Megan and Karyn laughing as they compiled this master *list* — reminiscing and chronicling lessons learned taking care of the cattle.

It made me laugh — it made me cry — it made me incredibly proud as I watched them turn their grief and fear for the future into something beautiful and positive.  I love that blog post for a number of different reasons, but it truly touched my heart to watch my girls dig deep and choose to embrace the positive as they struggled with the thought of change.

Although we will no longer have a cattle feed yard, the girls and I are making plans to purchase some calves next spring to graze our grass pasture.  We’ll need to find a new feed yard to finish them in come fall, but this project will allow them to continue to participate in the cattle business on a small scale.  I’d hate to remove all character building exercises from their lives 😉

June 13 2012 feed yard 009Despite the fact that I’ve announced my impending retirement, my life still revolves around the feed yard.  I am checking cattle health this week as my cowboy is on vacation, so I get to start each day with a beautiful sunrise and a large number of bovines…

I am toying with the idea of creating a category on the blog site for Chronicles of a Retiring Feed Yard Boss Lady which would enable me to stay organized writing during this time of transition.  I’m open to other ideas for the category name, so feel free to share your thoughts.


Filed under Chronicles of a Retiring Feed Yard Boss Lady, General

19 responses to “Chronicles of a Retiring Feed Yard Boss Lady…

  1. iris

    It way harder to make those kinds of decisions when you have kids….even when you’ve given it your all and the door still hasn’t budged. Change teaches resilience
    and the is a great thing to arm your kids with. Hang in there!

    • Thank you, Iris. I really appreciate your words of support. Matt and I have always included our girls in the farm so this was a hard one for all of us. Time heals — new dreams are made — and we all end up stronger going forward because of those life skills that you talk about.

      Thanks for your support.

  2. Charles Flanagan

    Best of luck in your new life adventure! The dairy I worked on for more than 30 years closed in 2010. At first I didn’t know what I would do with my self since the dairy and its related stresses had been my life for so long. I was too old to start over. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Now at age 70, I work part time for another farmer and have more time for my wife and grandkids. Changes come along and we can resist them and make ourselves miserable or we can embrace them, think positively and make the best of them. You will be fine too. You will put energy into your new endeavors and you will find success and happiness.

    • Good thoughts and experiences, Charles. I can very much identify with your words. Change is what we make of it — in life, attitude plays a huge role. I am looking forward to seeing where the path leads next.

      Glad that you are able to spend more time with family. They are truly our greatest blessing 😊

      Thank you for the note.

  3. Best of luck to you and your family as you head into this new adventure. No doubt it will be an adjustment, but all of you will settle in quickly.

    • Lindsay — thank you for your note. I appreciate hearing from you and hope that your own move/change has gone well. We miss you in Nebraska!


  4. Adele Hite, MPH RD

    Best wishes to you during this transition! Change is one thing we can always count on 🙂 And many thanks for the updates and openness about your new plans. The explanation of your thoughts & the process behind them offer some important insights to those of us trying to learn from “afar”!

    • Thank you, Adele. It’s always a bit of a challenge to put feelings into words, but it is helpful to me to write about all of it. I am glad that you are getting something meaningful out of my posts.

      I hope that all is well!

  5. Jim and Carol Ingram

    Wow! What a shock! More so because I discovered that for some reason, I had missed your three previous posts. I’m glad you have the insight to realize when a change is necessary. Though we can’t avoid change, it’s always difficult regardless of whether it’s forced on us by others or is something we really want to do ourselves. I look forward to future posts as you let us know how things are progressing and we learn from and through you as always. You’ve proven over and over that you have the drive to make anything work, so best wishes.

    • Hi Carol! Thank you 😊 We are embracing and moving forward. Megan and I have started to take the time again to ride regularly which we have missed dearly over the past few years. I am trying to refocus and find balance — we are finding our way. Things remain busy, but that is *normal*.

      We hope that you and Jim are doing well. We did not make it to Wyoming this summer but hope to get there next year. We’d love to see you all when we head that way.

      Take care,

      • Jim and Carol Ingram

        As you probably realized at camp, my health (especially energy) has been declining for years. Jim and I finally began seeing a holistic nutritionist and we’re turning things around. I haven’t ridden for 2 years now, so I need to retrain both myself and the horses. As I regain energy, I’m gradually spending more time with them toward that goal and hope to be riding again soon. I’m glad that you and Megan are getting back to riding again.

        We would sure love to see you when you get out here again. If you don’t have time to come to our place, we’d be happy to meet you somewhere for a meal or something.

        I’m glad you’re continuing the blog. I love it! It’s always inspiring.

  6. Hey Anne,
    I just found a new web site you might enjoy (or any woman in agriculture or ever those just interested in it) … hope you like it. 🙂

    • I love it, Kim! I am actually speaking at a FarmHer conference at UNL in Lincoln later this fall 😊 I am really looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing — it is a good group.

      I hope that all is well,

  7. Dave

    Best of luck to you and Matt as you move forward. Farming and ranching is a business and if the feeding enterprise of your farm is no longer making a positive contribution, by all means it is time to change. With high input costs it is necessary to make changes. We look forward with you to what God has in store for your future.

    • Thank you, Dave. I have often said over the years that I wish that I could run a feed yard without having to worry about money. As you well know, it doesn’t work that way.

      I look forward to seeing what God has in store for the future as well. My daughter reminded me of a quote the other day: “You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream”. C S Lewis. Wise words 😊

      Take care,

  8. Eileen

    Hello,Anne! Your video and blog are wonderful and you are well spoken and described your attitude about cattle in an understanding and caring way. We live south of you in Eustis. Troy and I grow soybeans and are corn growers for Frito-Lay.We also have 350 hd of sows,farrow to wean and our pigs are raised in Humphrey,Ne. I love the sows and I am serious in providing the very best care to”the girls”. As I listened to you speak in your video,I discovered you say the same things I do except you work with a different animal. I am very in tune with the sows. They are petted and become quite tame.I enjoy routine and the sows do as well. I am predictable and have a happy attitude around them each day. Thank you for being such a positive and strong voice for agriculture! Oh! I am from Pennsylvania and didn’t come from a farm either but I always had a desire to care for animals and be a great wife and mother. Take care!

    Eileen Easterday

    • Hi Eileen — I love your note! Thank you for taking the time to send it to me. I hope to meet you someday soon since it appears that we are basically neighbors 🙂


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