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Monday, April 23, 2012

Bulls, Paperwork, & a Plant Exchange make for a busy week



Yesterday was Earth Day, a day when people think about what they can do to make the earth and better place.  Most farmers feel like Earth Day is every day.  We strive to leave the land in better shape than we found it.  That is what our forefathers tried to do for us and we would like to do the same for our kids and grandkids.  We feel very blessed that we have 20 landlords that trust us to care for their family’s land.  It is not something that we take lightly.  They could choose from a number of farmers in the area and they trust us to oversee and care for their family’s land investment.  Some of the farms have been in the same family for multiple generations. 

This past week literally flew by for me.  There really wasn’t that much written on the calendar that I had to attend, but work on the farm kept me hopping.  We are in the transition time between planting corn and soybeans and between calving and the breeding season.  I spent the better part of 2 days taking the bulls to the vet to have Breeding Soundness Exams performed on them.  I won’t go into the details unless someone asks me to.  It is kind of a PG-13 (maybe R) kind of a procedure, although my boys have both witnessed these first hand.  My father-in-law has been on a cruise, so we didn’t have our usual go to person when we need a few minutes of help.  I called on a friend of mine to come supervise the loading of the bulls.  Our bulls are super gentle and usually very even tempered, but they can change in an instant.  I always like to have someone around in case something does go wrong and I need rescued.  She even wore her garden boots  (in her words), “So when I have to rescue you from a mad bull and drag your sorry butt under the fence, I won’t get my good shoes dirty.”  I got a good laugh out of that and was glad she understood fully why I had her there and she had her cell phone ready.  As usual the loading and testing was uneventful, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

I also spend an afternoon with the girls at the Farm Service Agency signing paperwork to keep the government happy and letting them know where we had planted our corn.  On Friday, I took mineral to the cows and checked on them.  We were debating whether the cows needed a de-wormer after the winter, so I collected the samples and took them to the vet to be analyzed.  This is another of those glorified tasks that I am sure all of you would love to do.  The samples have to be fresh (I mean still warm) fecal samples.  Oh, the romantic life of a rancher isn’t what you expected was it?

The farmer still had a bit of corn to spray to kill some of the weeds.  The windy weather slowed that process quite a bit.  We try not to spray when it is really windy, so the herbicide gets to the targeted weeds and not the neighbor’s crops.  He also worked on getting some of the grain bins cleaned out and ready for wheat harvest.  We should have a couple of semis here this week to haul some corn out that he has contracted.    

This farm mom and another farm mom hold an annual plant exchange and this year it was my year to host.  If you like to garden, I highly recommend a plant swap.  Our friends and friends of friends bring plants from their gardens that need divided and can be transplanted.  It is always so interesting to see what everyone brings.  Some years, there are tons of plants for the shade and other years there is lots of mint.  I have learned a lot about gardening from this group of ladies.  I had a good friend come to her first one this year…maybe I can help her along as all of these ladies have helped me and my gardens along over the years.  My boys also love to pick out plants, because I will let them pick almost anything since I don’t have to pay for it.  They went pretty crazy this year over iris.  We may be planting iris for the next month.  If you need any iris, let me know.    I think everyone went home happy with what they found.  I know several went home with a lot more than what they brought.

Looking forward to another busy week, I am not sure what the farmer has planned this week, but I am going to work at getting a few groups of cows moved around to their summer grass as the cool season grasses are needing a break and I will help the farmer when he needs it.   Oh, and I will be planting iris.