Wednesday, February 24, 2010

well sh*t

Today was just one of those basically non eventful days with just enough events to make life interesting. I checked on the special needs cows this morning and my four calves with wrong tags. Maybe that was just not a good way to start the day for me. I then checked and fed the yearlings and the babysitter cows which was fine but uneventful.

I then took off for Connell to meet with a representative of a major ear tag company. I needed to set up the tags for our fair steer “weigh in” in a few weeks. I also am going to tag the replacement heifers with electronic identification tags and likely this year’s calf crop before they leave the ranch. I won’t go into my personal feelings positive or negative about the discussion of National animal identification because that is a discussion I have had 3,879 (estimated) times too often. I do think there are some potential advantages to having your cattle sourced and age verified and identified as such. I also feel this is a free country and it is up to the individual producer to decide on their own how they want to implement it if at all. I have decided to take small steps towards this idea but with measured caution. Our vet shack is too full of tags and other items that were one time in vogue that never became mainstream or useful.

I also had to go to the Grain Growers to pickup some protein/mineral blocks. I then purchased some herbicide to spray some noxious weeds here on the ranch. The county weed board is going to do some spraying for me if I provide the herbicide which is a positive for everyone. I then met my bride for lunch and although I had a mushroom burger I had no premonitions about the impending bad news to arrive later in the day.

I traveled to Basin City and fed and checked the main group of cows and tagged two new calves. One is a real whopper bull calf with perfect black goggles around each of his eyes. Pictures coming soon as I had no camera with me today. I then traveled back home and fed and checked the special needs and fed them as well. Once again I had to stare at those four calves that are tagged wrong and try to keep my composure. I decided that since they are all healthy and doing well I needed to be more appreciative. I then returned a phone call to my local Natural resources conservation service NRCS. The NRCS is a government agency that provides technical support and sometimes cost share on different agricultural projects that enhance wildlife habitat, help stop soil erosion, improve water quality and other environmental issues. For the most part they are a good agency as far as government agencies go.

I had applied for an Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) cost share project last year. I was really hoping that this would be the year it was approved and funded because we have been applying for this for several years and have been tremendously close to approval. Once again I was not selected which really was deflating. I am the first one below those projects that were approved and if for some reason they have more funding or someone above me opts out I may still have an outside chance. I am not holding my breath. Even if I was approved part of the process has a nearly yearlong backlog so nothing would move quickly anyway. *sigh*.

After hearing this bad news I went home and finished removing the water pump from the Massey. I figured since I was in a bad mood anyway I might as well do something I do not particular like doing. I finished removing the pump after sunset but before total darkness. As I was walking towards the house I heard a noise above which boosted my spirits. The first of this year Sandhill cranes were flying overhead and landing in the home place pasture. I will talk more about them in a later blog but they did help make a not so great day better. They made me remember who I am, what I do for a living and how lucky I am to spend my days close to nature. They also reminded me that no matter what happens in daily life the world keeps spinning and the sun will rise again tomorrow.

I am supposed to be in Olympia serving tri tip sandwiches to our state legislators tomorrow but there is just too much to do here. Thanks to those who do travel and handle that task tomorrow. I will take the duty of helping to ultrasound the bulls at the bull test station next week in trade for those who cover things tomorrow in Olympia. Everyone travel safely and do not let those legislators that are idiots get you down tomorrow.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is Sandhill crane aka Grus Canadensis.

Today’s picture is the inside drivers door of the black dodge and why when you give a calf a ride you always face them rear to the door. For those who do not know that is not banana pudding, it is calf digested milk.