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Autumn Is A Blessing In A Rancher's Life

img_1932.JPG Autumn is truly a wonderful time of year. Call me an idealist, but there is something truly magnificent about watching the trees radiate bold orange and red hues and the corn and beans fade to a golden yellow. The air becomes crisp with the promise of a good harvest, healthy calves at weaning and successful pregnancy rates when checking the cows. Although the days are getting shorter and winter's cold bite is looming just around the corner, I think autumn is the perfect time of year to celebrate the abundance of the farming and ranching life. I'm a firm believer of counting life's little blessings, and autumn is one of those blessings.

Just for fun, I have listed my top five reasons why I love this time of year so much. A similar blog spot you might want to check out is, "Top 5 Lessons Ranches Teach Kids." Here are my top five; what are yours?

corral.jpg 1. Weaning calves is the report card cattlemen get from their cows. Who is making the cut, and who needs to go? There is a certain amount of pride seeing the calves get weaned and belly up to the feed bunk for grain. Performance and progress are evident at this time of year.

work-help.jpg 2. Pregnancy checking follows next. Each year, we team up with our neighbors to work our calves, and these days are full of conversation and fellowship with our cattle friends. Open cows are always a disappointment, but it's a great time of year to look over the cowherd and take inventory.

sunset.jpg 3. Moving the cattle out to corn stalks is a cost-effective way to feed the cattle. Crossing our fingers that the snow will hold off, it's a beautiful sight to look out the window and see the cows grazing peacefully in the corn fields. Plus, it's a lot easier than feeding hay, right?

71933_1448637984849_1500180011_31087960_2457894_n.jpg 4. Autumn is the time for my birthday (Nov. 13) and now my wedding anniversary (Oct. 8). It's a time of celebration and a time to get out and about. Beef expos, cattle shows and sales take up many of our weekends. It's a wonderful time of year to reconnect with fellow producers.

5. Big decisions are made in the fall regarding replacement heifers, sale bulls, feeder calves and cull cows. When's the best time to market these calves? How many should we retain? What bulls should we offer in this year's group of private treaty stock? Although the answers aren't always clear, this is the time of year to pour over EPDs and make the big decisions for the future.

Have I mentioned I love this time of year? Why do you love autumn? What's going on in your neck of the woods these days?

BEEF Daily Quick Facts: "Besides family owned ranches and selected country-born individuals, the cowboy of today is trying to grab onto the roots of the past. With the sprawl of the cement world, it becomes harder and harder to find a spot in the world to call your own, and the cowboy needs his space to ride. He needs his space to call his own." (Source: What Is A Cowboy?)