Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Time flies when you are having fun!

Greetings from Elkhorn Creek Ranch near the epicenter of the Bakken Oil Formation!

So, it truly has been a busy couple weeks.  This is the first time I have been in the office in a week.  As I was returning phone calls today from people who left messages dating back to May 31st it reaffirmed the fact that time flies when you are having fun.

It is true that I have a 'love / hate' relationship with the month of June.  On the ranching calendar the seasons (instead of winter, spring, summer and fall) go something like this:  feeding hay season, calving season, farming season, branding season, fencing season, breeding season, making hay season, harvesting season, weaning and shipping season, crop and hay hauling season, and gettin' ready for winter season.  Many of these seasons (which I suspect I have missed a few) are happening simultaneously and it can be a lot of balls to juggle sometimes..... Oh, and then there is the never ending business end of things - the office work which I'm sure everyone can relate to.

June truly is one of the busiest months as we are fencing and trying to get water lines going to our summer pastures, trying to get hay equipment lined out and running, sorting cows (organizing them) for breeding and summer pasture assignments...... AND breeding our cows.  Some days I wish it was as simple as turning the bulls out, but the rewards of the technical breeding program that we attempt to manage each year is just too high to let the bulls have all the glory.

My office the month of June!  On the desk, records and equipment for loading AI guns.  On the floor, three liquid nitrogen tanks which keep the 'A list' bull specimens alive until thawing them and breeding the cow with them.

We have the opportunity with current breeding technology (Artificial Insemination or AI) to use any bull that we want without having to purchase him either private treaty or at public auction, which is a good thing.  Many of the bulls we AI to sold at public auction for five or six digit dollar figures.  We are able to purchase genetics on the 'A listers' to use on our cows for $20.00 to $50.00 per breeding.  Typically, between 70% and 90% of the cows we AI settle to those 'A list' bulls making the extra work that we do financially rewarding to our ranch.
Brad AI ing a commercial heifer with Pete holding her tail out of the way and probably harassing Brad at the same time.

That being said, it does not come without sacrifice and commitment.  Every weekend in June is truly a family work group outing.  It is a time to pull together, work really hard and begin looking forward to the next spring when we get to start delivering the next calf crop that we work so hard for in June. 

Two heifers waiting quietly in the double alley this AM waiting to be AI'ed as they were in 'standing estrus' the PM before.

The weekend 'breeding' crew eating lunch after the AM breeding.

SOOOOO,  although I love working the entire month of June with the 'breeding' crew, I hate how fast the month goes EVERY year..... TIME FLIES WHEN YOU ARE HAVING FUN!

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