Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The meaning of it all

My life is shifting into high gear for the next couple months. I thought I was already there, but after checking out my calender I have realized the fun has only just begun.
My calender is booked, my car is seeing some serious miles, and my mind is whirling with everything going on.
But, most of it is some pretty fun and interesting stuff. While I am about to self combust on the days I have to sit at my desk, the weekends and other days away from it ensure my mental sanity..I think.
If you've read any of the recent posts you will know my family is right in the middle of fall work. If you aren't directly involved in ag, this may not sound like much more than the shuffling of cows and moving of sheep I am always chattering away about on here.
But, this fall work is all done for the health of our livestock, the betterment of our marketable product (beef) and the continued successful management of our natural resources.
We are busy giving our calves shots this time of year, much like students get certain immunizations before entering certain grades. We are watching our freshly weaned calves diligently, and providing immediate assistance if any single animal becomes sick. We are feeding, watering and providing shelter for them at all times. We are literally at their disposal 24/7 to ensure they stay happy and healthy.
We are moving cows to different pastures to allow the grass to rest and re-grow in already grazed pastures. We are grazing new pastures because we need the grass for our cattle, and to improve the forage quality. It's proven that properly grazed forages maintain landscapes that are healthier, with more desirable plant species than ungrazed landscapes.
A lot of thought and planning goes into the when, why and how each pasture is grazed, and it's all done to maximize the health of the grasses on the entire ranch.
This benefits our cattle, as they have access to higher quality forages when proper grass management is utilized and will perform better. But, these benefits also extend to any wildlife in the area and improves water quality, soil quality, and forage species quality when done for extended periods of time.
We are also doing all these things to improve our product, which is meat in the end. I have the mindset that if I'm going to do anything, be it sweeping dirt or designing a rocket, I will do my very best at it. I have this same philosophy toward raising cattle, and so do a lot of other people. Not everyone is like this in any area/group/culture, but a high percentage of farmers and ranchers are.
I will do whatever I can within my available means to make the very best beef you will ever eat. That means taking care of the cattle I raise, the grass they eat, the environment they live in, and anything else that impacts their performance and quality.
So, when I'm showing you pictures and explaining what we're doing on a given day, that's only the tip of the iceberg. Those actions depicted in my pictures and descriptions can literally extend all the way to your dinner tonight, and there are thousands of people just like me that are working hard every single day to make sure your dinner is safe, nutritious and healthy.

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