I am proud to be a part of the cattle industry.

May 01, 2023

Heart, dedication, and hard work are the words that come to mind when I think of the cattle industry. I am proud of our cattle producers as they put a lot of time and effort into raising, caring for, and providing a healthy, nutritious protein source to sustain our society.

In February, I stayed at a customer’s cow-calf ranch in the hills of Buffalo Ridge, and when I arrived at 3 in the afternoon, light snow was beginning to fall. Chore time is from 4-6 pm, and the fifty-eight bred heifers, AI genetic specific, for F1 replacement, are beginning to calf. The barn had six calving pens, bedded with straw, hay, and drinking water. The owner says they check the bred heifers every 3 hours at night, starting at 9 pm, midnight, 3 am, and 6 am “Would you like to come out?” I agreed to 9 pm and midnight for sure. The first night five new baby calves were born in the calving barn. It was 18 degrees, and fourteen inches of snow had fallen. The next day they had two tractors pushing snow and were trying to get ahead of what was coming. A blizzard warning, falling temperatures, and high winds would arrive by evening.

Life inside the home and outside in the barns are abuzz with school canceled and excited kids. Dad gets busy cooking breakfast, with biscuits and gravy the first morning and bacon and eggs the next, starting the day right. Mom is busy taking care of their 6-month-old son while she cooks supper each night, and you better be in on time, as she is not a short-order cook, and everyone says grace before every meal.

The boss says we need to make four more calving pens in the pole barn, as it looks like more calves tonight. He was right. Four more calves were born that day and evening. Why is it that when the barometer changes and a storm moves in, more calves are born? The boss and I slept on cots near the fireplace, so we would not wake the wife and kids when we checked the bred heifers. By evening the temperature had fallen to eight below, and winds were gusting to thirty miles an hour. The weather station reports no travel due to closed roads, and schools are closed again.

The kids were up early the following morning and were off to work feeding and watering the cows and cleaning pens and bedding with more straw. The cows receive a daily supplement of pellets, salt, and minerals, and the bred heifers that have calved get treats called cow cake, two pounds each. The new baby calves and momma cows were all tucked in nice and warm, and they had no idea it was blizzarding out.

Hard work, dedication, and the best animal husbandry skills are what I see in cattle operations, and this is what makes me so proud to be working with beef nutrition. Thank you, and warm regards to our cattle producers.
Look for our May Beef Month special on Purina Wind and Rain mineral.

Timothy Ollerich
Beef Specialist cattle nutrition
CFS Coop

Read More News

May 28, 2024
Join the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota on June 1 for Ag Education
Day. Ag is so relevant in our region, but many children only “see” it from a bus window. This FREE 
Museum day gives a hands-on opportunity to explore, learn, and ask questions about the importance 
of agriculture in our everyday life. Teaching children about agriculture at a young age can help 
them start recognizing how it impacts the world around them and can help them learn other important 
aspects about life.
Aug 21, 2023
Truckload Sale

May 17, 2023
Highlights as of 5/16:
Planting and weather conditions are the name of the game currently. With planting progress looking very favorable and the weather forecast showing above normal temps and below normal precipitation for much of the corn belt all signs point to very good planting conditions. With that, we gave up yesterday’s gains on old crop and put in some new lows on December corn.