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Mother Nature Rules
Feb 07, 2011
I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I am new to the Farm Journal crew. I graduated from The OSU (Oklahoma State University) in December and started my post college adventure working for Farm Journal Media in Missouri. Let me tell ya, I knew that I was moving farther North than I had ever lived before, but I did not realize that I was moving to Alaska! In the month that I have been here I have driven through snow, shoveled snow, I experienced snow in Atlanta, Ga. and was snowed in for the first time in my life!
With nearly 15 inches of snow and drifts almost 4 ft in areas, we spent last week stuck on the farm. Not a bad place to be stuck if I do say so myself. Working in pajamas with an endless amount of coffee on hand while looking out the window and a barn and fields is not that rough.
When I was a girl I had a flock of sheep. Like clockwork as soon as the weather turned frozen, lambs hit the ground with the snow! Every storm brought a new set of nearly frozen lambs that Daddy and I would take to the house. The lambs made new residence in the kitchen much to my mother’s dismay. Dried off with an old towel, rubbed down with love by my sister and I, and fed milk replacer out of an old wine bottle the lambs would slowly thaw and while some made it through many did not. I never got to experience this scenario with cattle because I grew up on a fall calving operation and we were already branding calves by the time snow came, but I can imagine it is a very similar experience.
Lessons learned on the ranch come in many shapes and sizes and one thing that I learned during that time as a little girl trying to save lambs is that mother nature rules. We can’t control what the weather does and we can’t control the outcome of adverse weather. All we can do is our best to care for our land and livestock. Travel plans get ruined and my things are still stuck in Oklahoma (turns out January is not a great time to move), but in the grand scheme those are minor setbacks right?
How did you fair the storm? Did your calving start early on your ranches? Is your wheat insulated by snow or freezing in bare fields? Will this snow set your planting dates further back?