You all know the saying, "Two heads are better than one." I think this saying applies to the beef cattle industry perfectly. The proof is in the families that farm together, pooling their assets to get the job done. The sharing of equipment and labor increases productivity with less input costs, creating a successful partnership.
I was thinking about this topic a few weeks ago, during the peak of election season. It was about that time that I realized how lucky my family is to have such great neighbors to help with our cattle operation, and visa versa. My parents' lifelong friends, Jeff and Molly, live within ten miles of our ranch, and they are always willing to take a break from their own cattle chores to help us out. At weaning time, Jeff brings his working chute and dehorns the calves for us. Each year, Jeff and Molly and a few of their friends drive over to help work cattle at preg checking. Jeff brings his skills to greatly reduce our vet bill, and in return, we donate time and labor to help them work calves at their ranch. Because Jeff and Molly have no children, us girls were always invited to come along to help out, too! That's exactly what we did two weeks ago when they preg checked the cow herd.
It's the community of friends that truly makes the beef industry great. Some of my agriculture friends live thousands of miles away, and we either met through this blog or in my many travels. Other friends are my neighbors that help me throw square bales in the summer and help save babies during the cold and snowy calving season. To all of my friends, near and far, I'm blessed to have you in my life. You all make working in this industry worthwhile.
So how about you? Do you team up with your neighbors? Do you farm with your relatives and trade labor for machinary use? Perhaps you call up your extension friends or your university professors for advice. Whatever you do, I want to hear from you. Who are your industry friends? How do you make your operation work? And do you believe in teaming up with your neighbors?