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Prepared, Now Pray

John’s Farm News, 4th edition, Feb 13, 2021

It’s been a day of last-minute preparations but first … day 4 nursery report … and it’s a good one. John was prepared for lesson presentation #4 but much to his surprise it wasn’t needed because baby was nursing when he arrived on the scene. John was so pleased he just kept driving (actually he wasn’t about to disrupt progress).

I’m so glad I returned to the Cheyenne Valley pasture today although I was apprehensive as to what I might find considering it was 6° this morning. Some of the mamma cows were nibbling on what was left of yesterday’s hay, others were standing still-as-statues while their babies nursed, three young calves were lying down, snuggled close to one another,

and a cow and her calf were nestled on a bed of dried grass. The cattle’s winter coats are shiny, healthy, and will be more important than ever the next few days.

Winter and water – those two ingredients can become a volatile mix. Yesterday John worked to get hydrants working; today one works so well it wouldn’t shut off. John’s theory, a positive one as usual - it’s better to have water running than no water at all! By morning we may have a ice slide down the hill but hey, the livestock can get a drink at the tank!

Back at the farm yard organic barley was run through the grinder for tomorrow’s feeding

and the 3-point bale fork was placed on the back a tractor because “if” John needs to push snow to make a path for the pickup to get hay to pastures the tractor will need additional weight on the back, such as a round bale. I’m assuming more weight equals more push?

Around mid-day I happened to be at the Ratzlaff (my side of the family) Centennial Farm when the sun appeared for a short time causing the whole world to glisten. I wish you could have seen the cattle! Each one was standing, side turned toward the sun, silent, still and totally motionless, not even a tail twitching. I hope those calves soaked up enough heat from the sunshine to get them through the outrageously cold days and nights ahead. Back at home the country side was sparkling.

I’m unsure how one prepares for an experience that has not previously been experienced. Tonight we hope the preparations we have made and the plans we have laid will be sufficient to keep ourselves safe and our livestock out of harm’s way. That’s the farmer’s prayer as he calls it a day!

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