Skip to main content

Busy!

Once more, we've had an exceptionally busy week - as the days get long, thins seem to grow busier! Here's a sampling:

Sunday - we sorted off 6 finished lambs for processing and treated the feet of the rest of the lambs. We also moved the lambing ewes and sorted off a ram and two ewes that had lost their lambs. We'll take them to the sale next week.

Monday - we took 30 lambs to Dixon for processing Monday morning. On our return trip, we stopped to take care of the lambs that were born overnight. We also moved the feeder lambs and moved the cows in Lincoln. Later that afternoon, we returned to Lincoln to fill water troughs. Monday evening I had an Agricultural Commission meeting.

Tuesday - Following the Roseville Farmer's Market (8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) I moved the ewes and processed new lambs in Lincoln and then laid out two new fencelines. That evening I had a Foothill Farmer's Market Association board meeting.

Wednesday - Roger Ingram, Courtney McDonald and I worked on postholes for the new fences in Lincoln. Courtney and I also moved the ewes and took care of new lambs. No meetings in the evening - what a treat!

Thursday - After running errands in the morning, I spent several hours on my consulting job with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. In the afternoon, I hauled water to the sheep and took care of 4 new lambs. Thursday evening, I helped out with a farm business planning class in Auburn.

Friday - Today, I'll be moving sheep, setting fence posts and checking cows. The girls have the day off from school, so I'll get to spend the entire day with them (which is wonderful!). We hope to find some time to work the young border collies today, too.

Saturday - Our friend Megan will staff our stall at the Auburn Farmer's Market. We're putting on a fencing workshop in Lincoln, which should be fun.

As we have more daylight, it seems that I have more work to do. I love my work, but I need to remember to take a day off now and then - for me and for my family.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trade Offs

As we were building fence for the soon-to-be-lambing ewes this morning, someone drove by and asked my partner Roger how long it took to set up the electro-net fencing we use for the sheep. Roger replied, "It's not too bad," to which the driver said, "Seems like a lot of work." Roger's answer - which both of us use with some frequency, was, "Yeah - but this way we don't have to feed any hay!" The driver, who obviously wasn't a rancher, didn't understand - and I suspect even some of my rancher friends don't understand the trade off we're making. Building electric fence is a lot of work - wouldn't it be easier just to feed hay?

The paddock that Roger and I built this morning encloses about 5.75 acres of high quality forage. Since the ewes are on the verge of lambing, their forage demand is peaking. They're eating nearly twice as much grass now as they need in the late summer - after all, many of them eating for three (and p…

No Easy Answers Part 2

In mid October, some friends who graze their cattle in the mountains of western Lassen County (less than 200 miles from our home), became the first ranchers to have cattle “officially” killed by wolves in California in nearly a century. Wildlife officials confirmed that the Lassen pack killed a 600-pound heifer; four more heifers died (and were partially eaten by wolves), but the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) couldn’t confirm the cause of death. While I learned about the depredations shortly after they happened through the rancher grapevine, news of my friends’ losses weren’t made public until the California Cattlemen’s Association and California Farm Bureau Federation issued a joint press release this week. The October 28 edition of the Sacramento Bee ran the story.
If you’ve read my previous blogs about wolves, you’ll probably know that I’ve frequently been frustrated with the Bee’s coverage. The paper has run guest opinions disguised as news articles, and appar…

Humbled and Excited

More than 20 years ago, I went to work for the California Cattlemen's Association (CCA). After two internships, I'd been hired by my friend and mentor John Braly as the membership director in 1992. By 1996, I'd been promoted to assistant vice president - pretty heady stuff for a young guy who hadn't grown up in the industry. I started looking for new challenges. Dr. Jim Oltjen, who was (and is) the beef extension specialist at UC Davis (my undergraduate alma mater) suggested that I think about going to graduate school to prepare for a career in extension. I considered it, but the timing wasn't right.

Fast forward to 2013 (or so) - I'd been working as a part-time community education specialist in our local University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) office for several years. The farm advisors in the office - Roger Ingram and Cindy Fake - suggested that I consider getting a master's degree and applying for a future farm advisor job. This time the id…