Saturday, April 16, 2016

Making Some Free Money

When your livelihood is like 85.762% dependent on something OUTSIDE your control, you tend to stress out a bit... or a lot.  Ranching in totally that livelihood that we can really get our stress level up on.  Sure, the day to day stuff is fun and tease The Rancher that his work is really play.  I mean, what is a rancher if not a little boy that grew up to have big toys to play in the dirt and lots of horses to ride on?  But when you look at the big picture, whether or not you can make it to the next year is a pretty sobering thought.  And that is only intensified by the fact that there is so much outside our control, mainly the weather.

Yes... I'm talking about the weather again.


It seems that all the stars and all the planets have to be perfectly aligned to get the weather we need and this just might be the year!  Looking back to last year we were over the top stressed with what was going on.  We had only one good snow storm, so we didn't have NEAR the with moisture that we needed.  Then the rains never really came.  And when they did come it was too late to get the grass going in our spring fields.  I can remember quite vividly last year The Rancher and Rancher Sr. trying to figure what to do with all the cows because looking through the summer there just wasn't going to be enough feed.  They went through all of the questions "Do we buy a bunch of hay to feed out in the fall?"  "Do we sell some of the cows?"  "Do we keep some cows home and feed all summer to make the range feed last longer?"  Stressfu...  Very stressful...

So what do you do when depend on the weather for your livelihood and its not cooperating?  Not much but hope and pray for a better year the next year.

Because sometimes that next year rolls around and you get dumped on with snow.  And then the rains come at just the right time.  And not only do they come, but they fall by the inches!  Ranchers are God fearing people naturally because when there is nothing more to do, they turn it over to God and things tend somehow work out.

We may have had to postpone our branding and we may have had to wait a bit to plant, but its all worth it when we have the rain coming like we do right now.  The Rancher says that when it rains like this we are "making free money!"  The rain comes and makes that grass grow like its magic.  With the grass taking off like it is we have great feed for our nursing mommas.  These healthy mommas then can nurse big, healthy calves.  And then those calves grow like weeds throughout the summer and weigh in heavy.  Heavy calves help us make a few more dollars so we can make it another year.  And all of that because of some well placed rain showers!

You cam see already how things are changing.  What used to be beautiful golden grass has now turned to luscious green grass.  Sure it has a ways to go, but I have NEVER seen Locomotive  green like this.  With a start to a year like this, we aim to "make some free money" to keep living the life we love! 

1 comment:

  1. For us grain farmers we say rain makes grain !

    Sometimes it doesn't come when it's needed either in the spring at planting time or at harvest that keeps us out of the fields and we harvest in the mud !

    I recall back in 1967 being in Arizona and the desert always look dead then the heavy rains came and with in a few days the desert became one large flower garden !

    Tom Mix