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BOY have a lot of things changed since my last post!

Farming and ranching can be very dangerous jobs. In most instances there are no restrictions or guidelines to tell farmers they can’t do a job in a way that might not be the best idea. They’re their own boss, in some cases working alone, and at times that can get them into trouble. 

I didn’t make it to the farm on Friday the 13th. My husband and I were getting our shipment of wood floor for our home delivered. You know how deliveries work….”Your shipment will be delivered between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m, be sure to be there”. I used my day off to get caught up on things for my photography business and running errands. Later that afternoon a large gate fell on my Dad’s lower back. Now, he’s a tough guy and very rarely do I hear him complain about pain, but when my mom called to tell me something had happened to my Dad and the ambulances were at the farm…it had to hurt pretty bad. 

We spent the entire evening in the trauma center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. When the words, “He broke his left hip and cracked 3 vertebrate” came out of the doctors mouth, Jared and I looked at each other and knew the next year of our lives were going to change drastically. Tasks my father and I had planned on getting done came flooding into my brain. I’d like to think the past 22 years working alongside him had been “training” for this day. Everything was in the hands of my husband and me. 23 year old me was about to take on a job I didn’t necessarily apply for, or in other words, I was receiving a promotion I didn’t feel comfortable taking.

I didn’t sleep but 2 hours that night. 7 very important embryo cows were synced to have their babies that week: outside in the cold, with an ice storm on the way. The calving barn wasn’t set up yet. We had planned on doing that early the next week. If Jared and I got anything done the next day it had to be getting the barn ready. 

The next morning Jared and I started early to get chores done so we could move toward working at the barn. By mid-morning 11 family friends and other farmers in the area showed up at the farm asking where they could lend a hand. Supplied with Bobcats, pickups and every skill imaginable, we got the barn cleared out. 

                                                                   We insulated the barn 2 years ago. It sure does keep the cold north winds out! 

After the panels were set up in the barn, it was time to put in cornstalk bales for bedding.

This machine is a hay grinder. Very loud. Very dusty.Very efficient. A round bale is dropped into the red hole and spins around grinding it until there is nothing left.

 

                                                                                                                           Like I said……..SO. DUSTY. 

 

                                                         Jared took a tractor with a loader and spread the cornstalks around the barn. Sure looks cozy to me!

 

In the far north corner is a pen with a head gate. This pen is where we put cows who are having trouble giving birth on their own. This helps us safely assist the cow by pulling the calf out. Like humans, cows can have complications such as the calf is breached or the calf is too big for them to push on their own.

A Saturday Jared and I were dreading turned into one of the most productive days on the farm all thanks to the wonderful people in our lives. This calving season is sure going to be a long one alone, but I’d say my first day as boss went pretty well…. I think I might even give myself a raise 🙂 

 

Dad was not happy they wouldn’t let him wear his hat in the hospital. Technology is a wonderful thing. I have a feeling FaceTiming outside on the farm is going to be a regular thing while he recovers. Donnie (pictured in the left corner with me) is going to be a lifesaver these next few months. In between calving his own cows out he is on speed dial for anything I may need. For that…we are eternally grateful. 

We’re extremely lucky Dad’s injuries were not as bad as they could’ve been. I urge everyone to always, ALWAYS take a second for safety and slow down. Chances are it isn’t worth it. 

Hopefully next week this blog will be full of pictures of healthy baby calves. It feels good to know Dad trusts me to make the decisions for the farm these next couple months. Who knows…maybe when he comes back there will be a pen full of Mini Herefords 🙂

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