Stepping back from our routines of irrigating, checking stockwater and increased feeding, August has been a delightful month, cooler overall than average. It feels like an early fall. Our cows are bred to start calving next month, and more than ever we’re excited to get on with the next phase of this business, another beginning of a new cycle as we approach our rainy season, described by an early California historian as that time when it might rain.

Two years of drought has forced us to reduce our cowherd by 40%, leaving less cows to supplement with hay, less four-wheel drive excursions into our upper country with expensive alfalfa. As a result, we have reduced the average age of our cows, focusing on the maternal traits of our most recent genetics as the core of our herd. We’re excited to get started and see the calves.

As always, we head into calving blind, not knowing what circumstances the weather will create, and not even knowing whether our reduced calf crop will generate enough to cover our future expenses—a true gamble, daily investing ourselves and all we have for an unknown payday—not exactly what I was taught in business school!

But it’s what we do, it seems, year in and year out, trying to make ranch improvements as we go just to make life easier as we get older. We’re ready for the calves and ready for some October rain to put this drought behind us.


3 responses to “AUGUST 2014

  1. Rain is seriously in need and I hope for it as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a good definition/descrption of the hopes of farmers as well as ranchers. In addition to winter being the season in which it might rain, it might also freeze.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems that when your livelihood depends on living things (animals or crops) it is a gamble. Scary! Really have to admire those that do. Also have to envy them their closeness and encounters with nature.
    God bless them that feed us.

    Liked by 1 person

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