2016

Combines, Cattle, and the Slowness of Winter

Life on the farm becomes a slower pace for us in the winter.  Since we only have feeder calves for livestock we are different from other ranchers/farmers. For example my friend Laurie over at Country Linked they have a different operation for livestock or Jennifer at Heim Dairy as well.   Our main income is from our grain crops we raise, but during the winter we feed the calves to supplement income.  And give my father in law and husband something to do, like that ever really runs out! NOT!

The calves are usually delivered in October or November.  We have a cattle buyer that my father in law has worked with for years.  He goes to the sale and purchases for us and delivers by semi to our farm location.  Usually it’s in  two or three different loads at various times.

Once the calves have settled for a day we will work the them.  This entails us giving them shots and branding them.  To be honest I really enjoy helping with this part of the livestock operation.

It brings back memories of my childhood days.  My posts Fall Farm Happenings and Time to Sell show some of the livestock we have had and what occurs. Some people are against working cattle like we do, but my philosphy is this.  If you don’t like that type of meat or grain, don’t buy it. Agree to disagree.

The end of they year is a time when our farm really looks at what we have done in the past year and gets our things ready for the new year.  Our farm year end is not December 31st, so it’s not so much for us to get ready for tax time.  It’s more about reviewing what we bought, sold, and what is left.  Also how we want to look at the following year.   Although we review things throughout the year, one can take a deeper look due to the slower pace of life.

This year it was finally time for Milton and I to purchase a combine.  This isn’t something you take lightly as a used one can be as pricey as a home.   We have been talking, thinking, researching, and praying on it for about two years.  2014 marked the time for us to make a purchase.

I am excited about this purchase because I was a part of it and learned things.  I was able to witness my husband’s knowledge about farm machinery and taking our time gave us the opportunity to discuss it until we both agreed.

I promise better pictures later!

Our new to us combine isn’t at the farm yet, but just like the cattle buyer, it comes from someone we trust.  Someone they bought their last combine from.  Building relationships is very important not only in farm life but in life in general.  In this internet, world wide web, social media world it’s good to just be able to shake hands, discuss face to face, and know that your gut is feeling good with the choice.

Our winter is spent with my husband waking early to feed the livestock and review our other farm equipment, do farm books, and search for a new combine header.  Before we know it he will be planting, harvesting, and working long days.  So we will relish our slower than normal days now, even if it’s bitterly cold out!

Thanks for stopping by!
Julie

3 thoughts on “Combines, Cattle, and the Slowness of Winter

  1. We enjoy a slow down in the winter also, Julie. We have lots of cattle to feed, but take it easy in the afternoon. Depending on the day it takes the majority of the morning to chore. We go out about 8, this gives the tractors time to warm up. We have several groups of cattle to feed and they are always glad to see us.We do not have a heated shop, so J doesn't do a lot of extra projects in the winter. The ground is frozen, so no fencing or windbreak building projects can be worked on. Today the wind is howling and our high temp was 27* at 7 am, it's currently 12*. J did do some tax prep earlier this week. I do most of the book work throughout the year and he gets ready for taxes. You are rights about connections and building relationships. There are days it seems like all J does is sit on the phone. He calls and price checks almost everything we buy. He researches and talks to people and ruminates before making big decisions or purchases. It is an important part of our business that frequently gets over looked.Thanks for sharing your winter routine with us. Stay warm.

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