We have had some much needed moisture the last couple weeks and the temps are trying to feel like fall, but every time I think we’re over the hump it comes out hot again. I am not much for cold weather, but I’d take some right now and even though the weatherman says it wasn’t as bad as last summer I am pretty sure I am ready for it to be over. The rain is sure welcome and we’ll need some more to help get the wheat up for those who are going to gamble and put it in the ground.
As families involved in agriculture I think we are a little more prepared when the cycle of life comes to an end. My wife’s grandmother passed on the same day her husband did 17 years later. It’s hard when you lose somebody that you respect and the old saying about in-laws rings true with most of my wife’s family. Grandma, that’s all I ever knew her by even before my wife and I were married, was different. She had a unique way of earning your respect and letting you know exactly where you stood at all times. I admire that even though most people don’t want to deal with that sense of forwardness today. After a long couple days, I think my wife and her family found a lot of peace in the fact she lived 87 years and got to do a lot of things she wanted to. A few years back she came for a visit and I am glad we got to spend that time together.
The social media craze is definitely here to stay I think. I get a kick out of some of the people I see show-up on Facebook. Folks I would never dream knew how to turn on a computer, much less communicate with friends. I have to say I really enjoy keeping in touch with friends I don’t see that often, but could really do without anymore political stuff.
I can’t believe how much most of us have come to rely on our computers as part of every day life. Just look at the impact in the beef business. Online private treaty sales, videos of cattle breeders are trying to merchandise and catalogs offering a preview are a big hit. I think some folks are split 50/50 when it comes to electronic vs. print. Most say they like to look at that catalog online, but when it’s time to come to the sale they want a hard copy in their hand. I feel the same way. I think a lot of us have heard that old saying “You’d have to drive a lot of miles to find one that good.” Today, all it takes is logging on to the internet browser and away they go. With these new phones, most folks have a bevy of information literally at their finger tips and it’s not just kids. My wife uses hers for everything. She gets hotels when we’re traveling or if I want to eat at a certain restaurant she can figure out where one is. It is amazing how fast the speed of communication is today. We all thought when we were growing up in a small town, man how did mom and dad find out about that dumb thing I did so fast. Heck today thanks to YouTube they can probably see it.
With the widespread drought, I was sure envious when I checked on a friend of mine along the Louisiana coast after the hurricane when he said they had 20 inches of rain, but the real problem was their ground was already pretty saturated. Mother Nature has her ways, but you’d think she’d try to distribute that moisture a little better. All in all, it seems like he got through this storm in good order though. Watching the news I was shocked to see another friend evacuated from his home. He rode out Katrina and Rita, two more powerful storms, in his house and other than a little structural damage, some down fence and a few lost elk and cattle he came through it just fine. I did read where some communities that had flooding problems blamed the new levees in New Orleans for their discomfort.
This time of year most are busy weaning and selling calves or starting off a new calf crop if they choose to fall calve. I know a lot of people who early weaned this year so momma could try and get back in shape a little. Hay supplies are short, but I have talked to quite a few cattlemen who are testing what hay resources they have to determine quality and are investing in a tub grinder or a delivery system so each field gets exactly what they need in one feeding. I like this concept and eliminating that waste will pay for that new piece of equipment in the long run. Improper feeding methods are very wasteful. At the end of feeding season, it’s a little discouraging to see what they wasted and where pasture got messed up because cattle had to be fed during inclement weather.
I know I am looking at different feeding scenarios for my wife’s equine friends. Demand for good grass hay has really caused a spike in price. Never fed round bales, but I am putting the pencil to it as we speak. I am scared of the waste or these four-legged eating machines inhaling that expensive stuff like there was no tomorrow.
College sports or just protecting the honor of your alma mater always brings out a funny joke or a bad joke and some people literally take it too far. You always hear about the Aggie jokes or the intensity of Bedlam, but rarely do you hear something positive from a rival or opponent. I found an article from a ULL fan after their game in Stillwater that bragged on Cowboy fans and what a great experience she had except for her team’s poor performance. That had me grinning all day long, which is tough to do on a Monday. Those of us who remember the old Big 8 or even the early years of the Big 12 can talk about how classy the Nebraska fans were before their move to the Big 10 or we’re looking forward to heading to Manhattan the Wildcat fans are great. Hopefully, pride, respect and sportsmanship will come with the new teams in the Big 12. Most already know we’re a little lacking in that area from fans of teams that call Norman and Austin home.
Sale season is in full swing and it won’t be long before the American Royal gets under way. For most, the first Big Time event of the fall show season. Before you know it Santa Clause will be coming down the chimney and then it’s time for the Superbowl of all stock shows, Denver. Until then, hopefully we’ll get some more rain and feed prices won’t get out of hand.