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Weekend Work

Posted 7/16/2012 1:07pm by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A significant portion of our weekend as given to putting up fence on new pasture for our cow/calf pairs who, for the past four months were grazing on pasture we rent from our neighbors' a half mile down the road.  In early spring we moved them across the property that divides our two farms. We staged the move along the ridge, far from the road, and used the dogs to keep the cows from wandering into Charlie's sprouting alfalfa. It was a memorable event that included a lot of loud commands drifting around the quiet valley.  "AWAY, AWAY, NO!  AWAY.... GO BY, GO BY!!! DOWN! DOWN, STAY!!! RUN JULIE!!" 

"SHUT UP, ROY!" 

You get the idea.  Under stress of cows in the neighbor's field, we are not always the most civil people.  This time around we were adding young calves, a bull, a lovely field of waist-high corn, and some luscious pasture so our strategy needed to change.  We ask our next-door neighbor if we might graze them slowly across the lovely pasture that he generally mows rather than run them harum-scarum and he kindly agreed.  This was an all-hands-on-deck sort of project with the girls, who have just learned how to drive both the pick-up truck and 4-wheeler (only in open fields!) shuttling tools between Roy and I and stringing up wire as we pounded in fence posts.  We were forced to take a break Sunday evening thanks to a much-needed rain (or perhaps the will of God, slightly offended by our way of remembering the Sabbath this week!)  Early this morning we moved the cows, calves, and bull into their shady pasture where they will spend the week. They were so grateful for our hard work on their behalf they fell all over themselves, bowing low and extending their hooves, promising to keep their rambunctious calves in line and out of the corn. Okay, so it didn't go quite that way -- more like a wild rush, nearly running over us, kicking up manure and mud as they trotted past. They seem happy -- and that is appreciation enough for me.