It’s a family joke that I don’t drink coffee because it exacerbates my inability to sit still. The “rest of the story” is that I don’t drink a morning cup of coffee because my alarm goes off at 5:35 am and I am out the door 10 minutes later. My morning “home” routine is short and for the vast majority of the year it is performed in the predawn darkness. Matt has always taken care of the girls in the morning hours before school because the feed yard day starts by 6:00 am.
Actually, my oldest daughter would claim that she is in charge in the morning rather than her dad — I figure teamwork is what it is all about!
With a feed yard to manage and three active daughters, my days tend to waffle between busy and just short of frantic. This week has tended toward the latter. Just to share a glimpse, I figured that I would run through my day Tuesday.
You’ll have to let me know if I have labeled it correctly by calling it just short of frantic…
5:35 Leave home to go to the office to print out animal withdrawal reports for the two pens of steers that we were scheduled to ship to Tyson – We have a multi-tier system set up at the feed yard to ensure that every animal is healthy and antibiotic free heading to the packing plant. I am in charge of that system and printing withdrawal reports is one of the tiers.
6:00 Arrive at the feed yard and read bunks: this is where I look at all of the feed bunks at the feed yard (there are 24 of them—one for each pen) to see how much feed from yesterday is left over to help make a good choice of what the animals in each pen should be fed today.
6:20 Enter bunk reading calls into the computer and slate the appropriate amount of feed for the day for each pen.
6:35 Start weighing semi-trucks to ship cattle to Tyson.
6:45 Pick up my cowboy and go out into the first pen that was slated to ship – ask the cattle to leave the pen and travel down to the corral area, then load them on the three designated trucks.
7:10 Go back out and gather the second pen of cattle to ship – trailing them down to the corral area and load them on the other three designated trucks.
7:50 Weigh the trucks “full” for a sale weight on the cattle and give all paperwork and instructions to the truck drivers as they leave the feed yard to travel 20 miles to the Tyson packing plant.
8:00 Complete the rest of the paperwork on the cattle that shipped.
9:00 Take part in a Tyson Farm Check Conference Call.
9:45 Field a phone call from my primary wet distillers grain supplier (Cornhusker Energy) to learn that the plant was broken down and I would not receive my daily loads of cattle feed this week.
9:50 Scramble on the phone to procure wet distillers feed from a different ethanol plant so that my cattle could continue to receive their normal, healthy ration (casserole).
10:00 Meet the field agent for the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality for my yearly CAFO inspection.
11:30 Travel from the feed yard to our main office to complete daily office / computer tasks which included purchasing and setting up logistics for ranch cattle that will travel to the feed yard today.
I went home briefly to eat lunch, but I can’t remember what leftovers I found in the refrigerator to heat up.
1:00 Traveled back to the office to work on more paperwork including preparing carcass and feed yard performance data to share with the rancher whose cattle I shipped to Tyson the week prior.
3:20 Pick up my favorite blonde 4th grader from school. Go home briefly to do chores (chickens, horses, dog, and cats).
4:00 Cheer for my favorite blonde cowgirl in her Junior High Track Meet (she took first place in the Pole Vault, first place in the long hurdles, and second place in the short hurdles)!
7:45 Travel home to make dinner (beef tacos).
9:30 Fall into bed so that I can do it all over again tomorrow!
Do you ever have days like this?!
It’s amazing what we can get done all before a cup of coffee when our responsibilities are vast…