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Archive for the ‘family farm’ Category

In an effort to bring emergency relief to ranchers affected by Winter Storm Atlas, AgChat Foundation is uniting several groups and Rancher and cow bondingorganizations. With a goal of raising $500,000, the 501(c)3 organization is able to gather donations and provide 100% of the contributions to rancher led organizations in South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming, including the Rancher Relief Fund established by Black Hills Community Foundation. Funds will be equally distributed between the states.

AgChat Foundation has received the support of many agricultural organizations and agribusinesses such as American Farm Bureau Federation and Tyson Foods. Additionally, the foundation is working with rancher run organizations in South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming.

While preliminary accounts are still limited, some officials believe that upwards of 60,000 head of cattle and sheep were affected in the storm. “Ranching families across the prairie are experiencing the trauma and loss like never before. The loss of livestock is shocking to the core. Our hearts are raw,” stated South Dakota rancher Jodene Shaw.  She continues on her blog, “you don’t just simply go “buy new cows” and start over. The foundation is removed. The legacy. The years. The work. The love. The faith.” She also points to the economical impact on families but strongly voices concern over the toll on ranchers’ emotional investments. Near the end of the post, Shaw reflects, “yesterday, as I saw live cattle, I wanted to wrap my arms around their neck and kiss their faces.” Search and rescue efforts have been widely inhibited due to the snow depths so full-scale ramifications of the storm may not be seen for some time.

The unified campaign has been established at the AgChat Foundation’s giving site.Ranchers caring for their cattle during Winter Storm Atlas.

As a 501(c)3 organization, all donations to the Rancher Relief Fund are completely tax deductible. Additional organizations and brands are encouraged to partner in these efforts. Inquiries about partnering or giving can be directed to Executive Director, Emily Zweber at (651) 341-0430.

Original post can be viewed here.

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The fields are starting to dry out…harvest is just around the corner. 20130828-165537.jpg

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This summer has been pretty good for us. We’ve been extremely busy, always a project to work on! The one thing that’s been unpleasant is lack of rain…again. Luckily, with the wet spring we had, the soil still has moisture in it. The wells and creeks haven’t faired as well.

Today we are finally getting a slow steady rain that should help replenish the wells and creeks. Hauling water to the livestock is never a fun job, but one that has to be done. Today we shouldn’t have to haul! And I’m betting that the cattle and horses are enjoying a bath.

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Fat cattle near Rugby, England

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Wordless Wednesday

Rain headed our way!

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Happy Spring

No. 151 and Harlie making acquaintences.

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DSC_0306Spring is right around the corner!  There are so many things to get excited about in the springtime.  The grass growing, flowers blooming, and a new crop of sweet little calves running around.  It won’t be very long before we we’ll be planting corn.  It will be time for meals in the fields, tractor rides, and fixing the guys supper at 10:00pm.  The kids will be daydreaming at school about being outside in the beautiful weather and enjoy being in it when they get home.  This weekend we move the clocks ahead and the longer days will begin.

Piglet: October 2012

Piglet: October 2012

To start off the busy spring season we have hogs that are ready to ship. This week we weighed the hogs to allow us to know which ones are ready to go.  We got these pigs in as 15 pounders last October.  My daughters spent a great deal of time playing with them when they were little. It’s a little more difficult to roll around with 200 pound pigs, so the girls don’t hop in with them now.  They enjoyed us having wean to finish hogs this time.  For the last 14 years we have raised feeder to finish hogs, which arrive at 50 pounds.  Although it was a little more work, it was fun to have the babies to raise.

Hogs getting closer to shipping weight

Hogs getting closer to shipping weight

The most exciting part of spring on the farm from my point of view is new calves.

New spring calf

New spring calf

One group of our cows calved this fall, but our heifers should start calving around April 1st.  The heifers are the cows that are having babies for the first or second time.  Even though they are new moms, they know just what to do.  Watching those little calves run around the pasture is one of the best views.  They are so darn cute.  The warm weather and the sunny days make for a great time for calving.  Our daughters are great helpers when it comes to tagging the new calves and keeping track of their births.

The girls with a bottle calf.  Every once in a while we have to be the mama cow.

The girls with a bottle calf. Every once in a while we have to be the mama cow.

Getting the planter ready

Getting the planter ready

We are about three weeks away from planting corn.  A load of seed corn was delivered this week and is in the shed awaiting going in the ground.  The guys are working on the planter to make sure that it is fully ready to go, that all parts and systems are set.  There are many, many decisions that go into each planting season, so we are always trying to stay educated on the latest technologies to make each crop the best it can be.

Lana & Bridget in newly growing corn

Lana & Bridget in newly growing corn

Right now it is cold and windy but, hopefully in a few weeks the weather will have made a turn for the better and we’ll be hot and heavy in the spring farming season.

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