My farming philosophy involves working closely with nature to produce high-quality products in the most sustainable manner possible. This means we rely on our animals to harvest the grass that Mother Nature grows each year. It means that we try not to import feed from outside our area (or even from off the properties we manage) if we can help it. It means we time our production year to the cycle of the seasons. Most days, working with nature (instead of fighting her) makes my life easier and more rewarding.
Today, however, was not one of those days. Today, Mother Nature brought 50 mph winds and horizontal rains to Doty Ravine, where we currently manage 200 +/- sheep, 21 goats and 32 cow-calf pairs. The wind made the simple act of walking across the pastures exceedingly difficult. The rain, which was also moving at 50 mph, stung wherever it found bare skin. I can honestly say that even the best rain gear fails to keep the rain out when it's accelerated to such an extent.
Most days, I love being a shepherd. I didn't dislike my job today, but I was definitely worn out, cold and wet when I finally got home. Maybe tomorrow, Mother Nature will feel like being my partner again!