Bill was born and raised on a family farm passed down through the generations. Farming was long hours, hard work and very little money. His family had the necessities but not much more. That’s why he extended his education beyond high school and earned both bachelors and masters degrees in entomology.
But farming was in Bill’s blood. It was a calling he couldn’t ignore. As soon as he could afford to buy a house and a few acres, he bought a half dozen yearling steers. The cattle operation evolved from there.
We care about our 150 bovine pets. We try to provide the best quality grass, hay and grain possible. Bill attends meetings and seminars and researches for information about every aspect of running a cattle operation to not only be profitable, but also to provide the best care possible for our animals. We check the herd frequently to be sure they are all in good health and that calves are gaining weight appropriately. We take preventative measures to ward off diseases. In case of a health issue, Bill diagnoses and treats the problem, frequently consulting a veterinarian. Yes, we use antibiotics, but only if necessary and sparingly to bring the animal back to health. We hate to see one of our pets suffer.
In previous posts, I’ve told stories of what I consider to be legends of our farm. These gals were long-time members of our herd and produced great calves, some of which we’ve kept as replacement heifers. Each had engaging personalities and were tame enough to eat range cubes out of our hands. Yes, we treated them like pets. But, the reality of a cattle operation is still based on profit and loss. To achieve the former and avoid the latter, cows must produce calves. So, in the past year, I’ve bid tearful good-byes to legends Hereford, Sweat Pea and Proud Mary. Their stories were told in “Romper Room Calves – Part 3: Frosty, Hereford and Heartbreak” posted March 30 2016, and “Calving Wrap-Up” posted December 13, 2016.
Another herd legend, One-Toe, could be on the short-list headed for the sale barn sometime this year. She joined our herd in 2006 as a replacement heifer, one of a group Bill bought from another cattleman. Her name came about as a result of a serious case of foot rot that resulted in an urgent treatment procedure to save her life and that of her unborn calf. I told her story in my book.