Cow Sorting Extravaganza – Part Two

Now for the second installment in this mini-series.  You can read Part One here.  On Sunday, we took our horses and our lists to my grandparents’ place to continue sorting.  My uncle and grandpa had the first bunch of cows gathered for us, and we whittled down our lists.  Shortly after this, I lost my pencil, the second one that day.

Then we gathered the second bunch of cows as the sun was climbing over the mountains behind us.

It was fun to see how the calves have grown.  Here’s one of my favorite Hereford heifers from this calf crop.

And Wally wasn’t the only calf to lose his ears during a cold spell (you can read more about Wally’s background here), although this little girl at least kept her tag.

After we sorted, we put the cows back out on pasture.

Grandpa went out and got the gate for us.

I am modifying how much horse ear appears in my photos now.

He likes to put a crew to work!

After two successful days of sorting, our lists were well-used.

Hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about our big sorting weekend.  I’m headed to Nashville, TN tomorrow – looking very much forward to meeting new folks and learning a lot!

Yours in travel,
The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

Cow-Sorting Extravaganza, Part One

Every year in early August, we have a big cow-sorting weekend, which I have coined the annual Cow-Sorting Extravaganza.  There are 3 goals to this weekend: (1) select our replacement bulls and heifers and put them, along with their mothers, in a pasture together, (2) sort off our first-calf heifer pairs and pasture them separately from the older cows, and (3) put the remaining calves, who will be sold in the fall, and their mothers in a pasture together.  This requires an impressive list-making process, part of which you can see here. Not everybody’s mother has such impressive handwriting, I might add.

On Saturday, we sorted the cows at my parents’ place, and we got an early start before the sun came up.  Here are Dad (on Rooster) and Moxie…and Magnum’s ears…headed out to gather.

Apparently, even when I take a picture off the side of my horse, I get someone else’s horse’s ears in the picture…these are Copper’s ears.

It was a damp and dewy morning before the sun rose.

Here I am checking a pair off the list.  The calf on my left is obviously quite wild.  It’s actually the calf with the red face and white spot from the complementary calves I wrote about earlier this spring.

Including your horse’s ears in the photo is a genetic trait that I inherited from my mother.

After we had sorted out the first-calf heifer pairs and the replacement heifers, Mom counted the rest of the cows back out.

Stay tuned for Part Two of the Cow-Sorting Extravaganza later this week! I’ve been on the road grading 4-H beef, hog, and lamb carcasses. Just another way to tell that it’s fair season! I’m looking forward to traveling to Nashville on Friday – taking a couple of days to be a tourist before the Agvocacy 2.0 Conference on Monday and Tuesday!

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

The Asphalt Cowgirl Rides Again…

After a brief early-summer hiatus, my travel schedule has…intensified, I guess you could say.  I drove to the ranch last Friday, and we sorted cattle on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Stay tuned for a blog post later this week about the cow sorting extravaganza.

I used the ranch as a home base early last week as I had meetings in Bozeman.  I’m so lucky to have that opportunity!  Mom’s garden is starting to go gangbusters, and here’s some proof of the prolific raspberry patch.  Nothing like fresh berries to go with breakfast in the morning!

Late in the week, I attended the annual meeting of the Montana Feed Association in Red Lodge.  This industry group helps me plan and put on the Montana Nutrition Conference and Livestock Forum.  We started the planning for 2012, and I also gave a presentation about some of my research.  On Thursday afternoon, attendees had the option of golfing or fishing.  I do neither of these, but I am a superior beer cart driver and stellar golf commentator (mostly social commentary, my specialty).

This meeting also wins the prize for the most unique match-up of after-dinner entertainment with the intended audience.  Watching a group of feed salesmen take in the trio of belly dancers was…well…I’m still speechless on that, actually. 

This week finds me on the road to grade carcasses for a couple of different eastern Montana county fairs, then heading to Nashville, TN for Agovocacy 2.0, an agriculture advocacy conference.  Have a great week, everyone!

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night….

Sorry, I was channeling my inner Snoopy for a minute.  I thought I would share some pictures of a rain storm that moved off the mountains when I was at the ranch in mid-July. 

The evening light was pretty neat.  Here’s a little bunny in our pasture next to the corrals.  I don’t think he’ll go hungry this summer.  Please disregard the cheatgrass.

I’ll be heading back to the ranch this weekend for what I like to call our annual “cow sorting extravaganza”.  We’ll be making decisions about what bull and heifer calves to keep for replacements and what calves we’ll put on the truck this fall.  Decisions, decisions….

I’ve made a flying trip to Bozeman so far this week, and will be on the road all of next week – stay tuned for updates, the Asphalt Cowgirl is back in action.

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux