Snapshot of one nice day on the ranch
These are tough days for ranchers and farmers. Ranching is hard work. Cattle producers enjoyed the one nice day this week when temps were in the 40’s and the ground was dry. We just happened to be following the Little Missouri River through Slope County when we drove by a well-equipped ranch where this spring’s crop of newborn cattle was arriving every day.
The ranch family has no time off during calving. In many families, they take four-hour shifts — everyone. Mom, Dad, kids and extended family members take their shift to make sure the cows are healthy and secure and that birthing grounds are clean and dry.
This was one day this week when conditions were ideal. Just one day. A rare day in ranch country.
A good day to calve
As soon as the calf is dropped, it must be nudged to a standing position so that it can get that life-sustaining milk. This was a good day and constant monitoring was not needed. Black Angus cattle are good mothers.
A weekend’s winter storm with several inches of snow and below zero temps is calf-killing weather. Ranching is hard work, and you can be sure the entire family is keeping tabs on the mothers and the newborns to make sure they are warm, dry and protected when snow or rain makes things muddy and cold weather threatens the babies.
There is no question cattle producers care about life.
- They care about animals.
- They are bonded to them.
- They depend on their own resources.
- They stand up to the elements.
- They don’t make excuses.
- They don’t whine and cry or curl up in a fetal position when times are tough.
They don’t run to the nearest Starbucks for a triple mocha, fat-free latte with a green straw to suck on. Ranch families are the stalwarts against the pussification of America. You want to see American culture the way America used to be — visit ranch country.
Are you a ranch family? How are things for you today?
Ranchers’ play too, as you can see here —but their play is born of the hard work they practice every day, roping, riding and being very physical.
Click “share” to show others what ranching on a good day can be here in the Western United States.
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