On Saturday I traded in my sneakers for a pair of cowboy boots and headed back to the farm where I grew up. I suppose unless you knew me as a youth, chances are you don’t know about my farming roots. I grew up in a small farming community. When I say small, that is exactly what I mean. There are about 1,500 people in my hometown. I graduated with about 55’ish’ kids and in my entire high school (9-12 grade) there were only about 200 students. It is a very rural area.
I've since moved about an hour away to a booming city of about 50,000 people. My dad, however, still lives on the farm and on Saturday he needed help branding this year’s calf crop. For those unfamiliar with ranching lingo, that means mark them with a branding iron so you can tell whose cows are whose. Each farmer registers a brand that is unique to him so you can tell cattle apart. Sometimes cattle crawl out of the fence or gets mixed into another farmer's heard but if they are marked, you can find your cattle pretty easily and return them back where they belong. Along with branding, you mark their ear for the same reason, easier to spot from a distance. My family’s ear mark is slicing the tip of the right ear off. We also give them vaccinations and a steroid pill to keep them healthy. I’ve always enjoyed doing this kind of work. There is something very rewarding after you put in a full days work on the farm. Loren didn't grow up on a farm and he loves any opportunity to "play cowboy" and help my dad.
This past Saturday was the day we traded in our shoes for boots and went to help my dad work the cattle. My girls had a great time…even though they thought this ranching practice to be slightly barbaric. I suppose it might be to "city slickers" but on the farm, this is just how things are done. Branding your calves is the socially responsible thing to do. :-) I put the pics in a collage because there were a ton of them! Click on it to make them bigger...also notice the pic of the new baby colt. The girls were enthralled by him. The pics inside the barn are of the calves and the ones outside are when we vaccinated and de-wormed the mommy cows. The girls worked very hard and were able to color in more spots on their chore thermometer! That swingset will be here before we know it!
P.S. my sister malory did a cute blog post as well with the pics. She had some funny commentary that I enjoyed. :-)
2 days ago