Tag Archives: hats

A Woman Of Many Hats…

To say that my life is busy right now would be an understatement.  My days at the feed yard are long as I bring in many new animals.  My girls are also busy with cross country, soccer, volleyball and swimming.  I coach two of the four sports and am an avid fan of the other two…

The sun seems to go down too early these days…

This week I added an extra “hat” to wear in addition to my cowgirl hat and my sports cap.  I also put on my beef advocate hat.  Yesterday, I left home at 4:00am to drive to Denver.  While most Americans are aware that there was a Presidential Debate last night in Denver, I think that it is also important to point out that there was a fantastic seminar for people that wanted to learn more about “where their beef comes from”.  Colorado State University, in partnership with the Beef Checkoff, put on a day long seminar entitled Beef + Transparency = Trust for chefs, dieticians, and foodies.  

Click here to read about the seminar: Beef + Transparency = Trust promotion

While I do not really enjoy the “travel” part of advocacy, I do very much enjoy sharing the story of how I raise cattle and make beef.  I love what I do, and I love to talk about what I do.  I am honored that I was asked to share in this experience.

My two favorite blondes were nice enough to draw a map so that all of you could see where my travels took me this week…

As soon as my portion of the meeting was completed, I drove back to Cozad because this morning I was expected to be on a ranch near Halsey, NE to serve as a cattle buyer and load new cattle destined for my feed yard.

Mike and Peggy are entrusting me with their calves—above is a picture of them visiting their cattle last spring at the feed yard.  I am sure that they will come down to visit this year’s calf crop as well.

I plan to leave the ranch right after the cattle are loaded and head north to Valentine, NE to watch my favorite 7th grader and her AWESOME Cross Country team compete in the Southwest Conference Championships.

I love to watch these kids run. They have so much heart and it is great fun to watch them compete and be successful…

I am likely to get home very late tonight a bit weary from all of my travels, but will rise early to begin the acclimation process on the new calves and give them vaccination shots that will help them to stay healthy…

I hope to also be able to share with you all the great success of my favorite Cross Country team :).  In the meantime, I will dream of taking a nap!

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Filed under Feed Yard Foodie "In The News", General

What makes a cowboy?

When my kids were little, they used to travel with me when I went to nearby ranches to purchase cattle for the feed yard.

Looking back, it is hard to believe that my kids used to be this little!

One of the ranches that they visited was AL Ranch.  I’ll never forgot riding around in Al’s pickup truck looking at cattle that were about to ship to the feed yard, and my middle daughter (Megan—she was probably about 3) looking at Al and announcing, “You aren’t a REAL cowboy, you don’t have on the right hat…”. (Al was wearing a baseball style hat, instead of a cowboy hat).  I waffled between wanting to laugh and being embarrassed, but I was proud of Al—he took it right in stride like any good grandpa.  He looked at Megan and said,

“You know, it’s not the hat that makes the cowboy”.

Playing “cowgirl” is fun…

So, what makes a real cowboy?

Webster defines the word ‘cowboy’ as, “one who tends cattle or horses”.  I define it as a responsible and knowledgeable caregiver for cattle.  At the heart of any good cowboy is a love for both his animals and the land.  He (or she) puts the needs of his animals before his own needs.

I remember another time that I was up at Al’s place.  It was April and a spring snow storm had brought cold temperatures and bad weather conditions.  Al was in the middle of “calving” which means that his mama cows were having their babies.  The gestation period for a bovine (calf) is roughly the same as for a human, and a mama cow has a calf once per year.  Most calves in Nebraska are born in the springtime as the grass greens up and winter goes away.

The ice and snow can be beautiful, but they make "life" on a farm very difficult...

Springtime in Nebraska is notorious for being inconsistent, and this particular year we had very cold temperatures and snow even though it was April.  Al and his son-in-law were busy taking newly born calves into the “heat box” in the barn so that they would survive the weather.  They worked diligently for several long days until the weather cleared up.

Al is a good cowboy, no matter what type of hat he wears…

It's not the hat that makes the "cowboy"...

Calf #718 was born March 17th on a grass pasture close to Al’s house and corrals.  He spent the first couple months of his life in a place where Al could check on him frequently.  His mama took good care of him, and so did his “cowboy”…

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Beef Life Cycle--Calf #718, General