Last weekend we shipped our calves and the guys were able to try out their brand new corral system. Now, to some folks this may not sound super exciting, but I’m sure any rancher will understand the enthusiasm.
A good corral system can make a whole lot of difference for a rancher. Imagine trying to move several 1500+ pound cows down an old corral made of (partially rotting) boards that have been there for at least 30 years – talk about a headache! So for most of this last summer – when they weren’t haying or combining or working on machinery – Evan and his dad, Jeff, have been working with a man they hired to build new corrals (note the “working with” which usually happened at the end of their already long days). These nice new corrals are made of steel pipes and steel panels into a very well fought…I mean THOUGHT…out layout that will make working cows much more efficient and simple.
Anyways, back to the calves. With the new set up the big semi-truck with his cattle pot trailer just wound his way right in and off went those 760+ pound babies, leaving behind bawling mommas. Our volunteer crew, consisting of Evan, Jeff, and 3 other guys, started rounding up the 200 cow/calf pairs at 7:30 am, had them sorted (calves from cows and then calves by sex), and were loaded all by 8:30 am. That is most definitely a record. Even the truck driver was impressed with their efficiency and he drives all over and sees lots of corrals I would imagine – so that in itself is a compliment. The next round of trailers – pickups with stock trailers – weren’t scheduled to arrive for almost another hour after this was accomplished, so the guys were able to fully enjoy their coffee and donuts without being rushed!
Now, I am no expert on any of this, but from hearing about all the hard work that went into this project, the arguments that were centered around it, and comparing it to what I have seen, I’d say that these two (three counting the man hired to make them) ranchers are pretty talented, handy, and cut from the same well-oiled/manured/dusted denim cloth. Thank God for those kinds of men!