Saturday, October 20, 2012

Planning, failure and why it is ok

Plans are a great thing, as long as you are comfortable that those plans are subject to change and that a planned life is rarely a reality life. Yes my calves are still not weaned, well at least the bulk of them are not weaned as planned but I am ok with that. In reality the moderation of the temperature extremes and some much needed moisture to some parched earth will make it that much better next week as calves are weaned. 

I really should have kept a closer look at mileage this past week as I put many miles in without leaving the great state of Washington.I am pretty confident that I put in over 1000 miles as I spent my days doing what I do this week. On Monday Jack and I along with another guy named Jake headed to Elma,Washington to sort and wean calves. The plan to go over and make the 250 mile one way trip was planned but the rainy weather forecast for western Washington was not. We got lucky that day as we were able to gather cows and calves horseback, separate cows from calves, send cows back to the pasture and load calves just seconds before a massive downpour of rain greeted us. I made it home shortly after dark and Chris and Dakota helped me unload bawling calves in the corrals at home. 

Tuesday was my last meeting as the Washington Cattleman's Association President to conduct a meeting at our headquarters in Ellensburg Washington. Over the last 2 years I have really enjoyed these meetings surrounded by great people that all have not only a passion for this industry but also know what it is like to deliver a calf in less that perfect circumstances. These meetings, relationships and debate will always hold a special place in my memories.

Wednesday as I should have been building fence around a corn stalk field was instead spent BBQing Tritip for 1300 team members from Tyson Fresh Meats in Wallula Washington in appreciation for all the hard work they do to make sure our beef products make it from our ranches to the dinner plates of not only Washington residents, not only residents of the USA, but also to dinner plates of consumers all around the world. 

Thursday again I should have been building fence but I spent most of my day documenting potato harvest here on the ranch. I was once a part of this industry but now am only involved as a landlord. It is a huge part of agriculture in this state and I will share my perspective of this industry and how it now manifests itself on this ranch in pictures and video in a future blog post. The Easterday family has been a wonderful partner and great supporter of our community and watching their efficient and focused potato growing on my land has been stunning. They are an excellent tenant and partner and I am glad to call them friends. I also watched online a local livestock auction market  right here at home with the wondrous spectacle of the internet Thursday. I rounded out the day watching and enjoying Dakota and the rest of the Connell Eagle ladies volleyball team continue their undefeated league season as they beat the Kiona Benton lady bears in 3 sets. Here is a short video of potato harvest which I will explain in a later post. 

Friday was spent weighing in, vaccinating and working bulls for our Washington Cattleman's Association bull test and sale. I spent the day with wonderful and dedicated people, some of the best bull genetics available in our state and honestly anytime you can spend the day working bovines you are truly blessed in my humble cowman opinion. Tonight I spent the evening with my beautiful bride watching my home town Eagles get shellacked in their homecoming football game, but the whole evening wasn't wasted as we enjoyed the last half from a local tavern listening to some classic country and classic rock on the jukebox. Today was "crazy purple and gold spirit day" and as Dakota left for school this morning she did a tremendous job of representing the sophomore class at CHS. 

Yes, I still have fence to build, calves and cows to wean and this week did not go completely according to plan, but I am a very lucky man, in a very special industry and I  am proud to be part of it!

Remember all pics can be viewed in full size by clicking on them. Today's Cowman YouTube music selection comes from the VanZant brothers as they sing "Help Somebody if you can" which really captures the values my grandparents on both sides of my family instilled in me.  "If you wanna hear God laugh tell him your plans." Take a listen!