Friday, May 31, 2013

Marital Baggage

 As I type this my most valuable possessions are rolling down a highway to their new South Dakota home. Part of getting married is always the combining of two people's things/stuff/treasures/junk, and mine will be no different. I will bring more furniture than will probably fit in my fiancée's house, a car, a big screen TV, lots of kitchen stuff, enough clothes to fill every available closet - probably twice and dreams of things like a beautiful lawn with flower hedges.
But, what is a little different when two ranchers get married is that there could also be the combining of livestock, which is the case with us.

These two are rolling down the highway right now. Adding cows when getting marriage is a little different than adding a hairbrush and lip gloss to the bathroom vanity. Cows eat grass, cows take up space, cows cost money to run, and it's not like you can just add and subtract numbers on a whim. No, there is a lot of management that goes into running cows, and to be profitable most ranchers are usually running as many as they can with their available resources. So, just adding more cows isn't necessarily an easy thing.
But, I am marrying a wonderful man, who just so happens to be a rancher, meaning that he has the ability to make room for cows more so than most people, and he did make room for mine. Not only that, but he offered to let them come now instead of this fall because it was really dry over here earlier this spring when we were making plans.
To prepare for the move, I applied for my Wyoming brand in South Dakota, and am very thankful to have gotten in on the second try. It was given to my dad, who used it before me, and in addition to meaning I won't have to re-brand my cows, also has a lot of sentimental value to me. It also means I won't have to keep track of two brands as my cattle move back and forth between South Dakota and Wyoming in the future.
My family and I also sorted my pairs out from the rest of the cows and put a bull with them earlier than we turn bulls out to get them closer to being on schedule with calving season at their new home.
Then today he carved time out of his busy schedule to come get them when "Delivery Plan A" didn't work out last week. He has it all worked out on the pasture/bull/summer management side for when they arrive, and is also making sure that over time we we will get everyone the right shots as they convert from our vaccination program to his, which are different.

I'm sure there will be more adjustments and management alterations that will have to be made going forward as we work them into the mix. But, I'm also sure they will all work out. I am very grateful to have a wonderful family, and to be marrying an equally wonderful man that all help enable me to do what I love, which has always included owning cattle. As my fiancée has told me many times since we've met, he had no idea a blonde girl could care as much about a little bunch of cows as I do mine. Fortunately, he considers that a good thing.


  1. I'm so happy for you that you found someone who shares in your passion. And, understands it. Blessings from Wisconsin.

  2. Glad you got to keep the brand! One thing we really enjoy as a married couple - is making livestock decision together. Granted we have only been able to buy 1 horse and 4 cows - but its kinda fun to go to salebarns (window shopping) and see which groups we pick out. Most of the time we agree on things - but there a few things we disagree on when selecting livestock. When we disagree we debate and defend - it good and we learn and grow together!