Ag Right: Calving and lambing time again
I grow up on a North Dakota diversified farm that included a cow/calf operation, and once owned a few cows myself, so calving has been an important part of my life personally.
I’ve spent many years as an ag journalist and have written a lot of stories about calving and lambing, so the season matters to be professionally, too.
Here are a few of my strongest memories.
On the personal level:
— Finding a newly born calf outside on a bitterly cold day and carrying it into a warm barn, with his mother, her maternal instincts on overdrive, head-butting me all the way.
— Watching “my” first calf being born. (I wasn’t there when it died, unexpectedly and for no apparent reason, a few days later.)
— Receiving a check after my second calf was sold.
On the professional level:
— Returning to the office from a farm show to find an email from an area rancher. It informed me that one of his cows had given birth to quad calves and asked if I was interested in doing a story. (Yes, I was most definitely interested in writing about this extraordinarily rare event.)
— Watching an area vet and technician calmly and efficiently work with a heifer during her difficult delivery, with the heifer’s nervous owner fretting loudly and often.
— Listening to teens who own cattle and sheep talk about how they much they enjoy calving and lambing season.
Well, I enjoy it, too.
Drop me a line if you have any story suggestions this season. I don’t expect to hear about quad calves again, but there will be interesting stories to tell. There always are.
Good luck to livestock producers as they begin this stressful, satisfying and important time of year.
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