Saturday, December 22, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside....

but farmers and ranchers are still out there in these blustery conditions caring for their livestock.

We had a winter storm pass through the Midwest on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. It has been a long time since we've seen snow. Last winter was unseasonably warm and we only received 4 inches of the white stuff. Earlier in the week the temperatures were near 60 degrees, so I was skeptical that the predicted snow would amount to anything, let alone stick to the ground. 

Well I was 100% wrong on my prediction. The storm started on Wednesday night with heavy rain and thunder snow, which was pretty cool. Then the temperatures dropped in a flash. I woke up Thursday morning to howling winds that made it sound like there was a freight train outside.  Not only did the snow stick, but we had large snow drifts on the farm.  The roads were also a mess due to the freezing rain turning to ice. 

The first snow this winter made for some picturesque views on the farm. 

The snow makes everything look so beautiful.

We probably only had a total of 3 inches of snow, but with the 40mph
winds it made some pretty big drifts on the farm. 

These pictures can be deceiving though. What they don't portray is the 40mph winds and the freezing temperatures. Just the snow alone makes me want to stay inside curled up on the couch with a blanket and delicious cup of hot chocolate. Farmers and ranchers don't have this option though. They are out there in these conditions for a good part of the day ensuring the livestock are taken care of.

They bundle up with several layers, and brave the conditions to feed the cattle.  They roll out straw for the livestock so they have a warm and dry place to sleep. They check the cattle's water supply to make sure it hasn't frozen over. They also walk through the herd to ensure none of the animals have hurt themselves on the snow and ice.

The calves are hungry and ready for supper. 

The two red calves were curious. 

Adam filing the buckets up with feed. 

They are patiently waiting on dinner. 

Adam all bundled up and trudging through the snow
to feed the calves. 

Adam feeding hay to the calves. 

Adam cutting the net wrap off of the bale before he puts it in the feeder. 

Adam rolled out a large bale of straw so the calves would have
a warm place to sleep. 

Rolling out a bale of straw for the heifers. 
The heifers loved the straw. They were jumping in it and kicking
their feet in the air after Adam rolled the bale out. 

When the temperatures drop below freezing we have to check the
waterer everyday to make sure it hasn't froze over.

Farmers and ranchers don't get snow days. In fact, the snow and ice make it much more difficult and time consuming to take care of the livestock.  Even in these harsh conditions we are still grateful for the snow because we are in dire need of the moisture. We've been in a drought all year so we are welcoming any form of moisture, even if it comes with 40mph winds and freezing temps.

If you're lucky enough to not have to work outside in these conditions please take a moment and thank the people who are out there everyday.  It's not just farmers and ranchers who are out there braving the cold, there are several other occupations that require their workers to be outside too.  We are thankful for the linemen who make sure the power is on, the transportation crews who are out there making sure the roads are cleaned off and safe.  The FedEx, UPS, and USPS drivers who deliver our packages and mail. The construction workers who are building new homes and offices. The police officers and firefighters who are out there working accidents and keeping us safe.

Thank you to all of these people who brave the frigid conditions to make our lives a little easier in this cold weather! Stay safe on the roads this winter and be sure to bundle up!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Farmer and Pharmacy Style

(Gangnam Style Parody)

Yes, I know it has been FOREVER since I have written a post, but school has really taken up all of my free time this semester.  When finals wrap up next week I will have a chance to update everyone with what we've been up to this fall.

For now, I have two parody videos for you related to both of Adam and I's professions. I love it when I can tie both together! The original song is Gangnam Style, by PSY.  This song and dance has taken the country by storm and there are countless parodies to it, but the ones I'm sharing today are Farmer Style and Pharmacy Style.

I'm sure you all remember the Peterson Farm Brothers from their "I'm Farming and I Grow It" parody video that they did this summer. This video went viral in a week's time. It currently has over 8 million views and it put the brothers in the national spotlight!

These Kansas farm boys and their family members are at it again with their lastest farming parody song, Farmer Style. It was released after 8pm last night and it already has over 118,000 views!!

This morning my Facebook homepage was filled with everyone sharing links for this video, and my Twitter feed was dominated by links to the video as well. Greg, Nathan, and Kendal are already off to a good start with this video, keep sharing it and remember you have to go to YouTube to watch the video for it to count toward their total views.  Watching it from the Facebook player will not add to their total view count.

The Peterson Brothers did an awesome job with this parody and it will be exciting to see how far this video will go.

Update 12/6/12 at 5pm- Farmer Style has 1,179,872 views and made the front page of YouTube  today. Not too bad for only being uploaded 44 hours ago! Congrats Peterson Brothers, you've got another viral hit on your hands!

Update 12/9/12 at 10am- 5,469,428 views! 

You can follow the Peterson Farm Brothers on their Facebook page, their YouTube channel, and you can follow Greg Peterson at @gregpeterson33.

Last night a fellow classmate shared the link for the Pharmacy Style parody.  It was done by UCSF pharmacy students and the lyrics are probably only funny to people in the pharmacy profession, (nerd alert!) but it is still entertaining. The students did a great job with the lyrics and represented pharmacy well in this video.


That's all for now, I'm going to return to my study cave and I will hopefully emerge next Thursday!

Good luck to all of the students studying for finals, Christmas break is almost here!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Building A New Cattle Corral

In between the hustle and bustle of silage harvest, and shelling corn Adam has been working diligently in this blazing summer heat on building a new cattle corral at our house.  He tore out the old one, drew up plans for a new one, and started the building process back in June.

A new cattle corral and bunk line was needed because the old one was between 40-50 years old and it was falling apart.  The broken gates, dilapidated fence boards, and broken fence posts made working cattle difficult and cumbersome.  It was time to invest in something that would last and be more functional for us and our operation.

Adam has built fence with Andy and Corky Cook, of Cook Logging and Fence, since he was in high school and he still helps them out when he is able to. I would venture to say that the Cook brothers are the best livestock fence builders out there. They do an awesome job and the they build a fence that is going to last a long time.  They took time out of their packed schedule (they are in such high demand in this area that they have jobs booked for at least a year in advance) to come to our house for a few days to help Adam with setting the new hedge posts for the corral. Their help was greatly appreciated and Adam wouldn't of gotten the corral done as quickly without their help and expertise.

A big thank you goes out to the many family members, friends, and neighbors who helped with completing this huge project. We couldn't have done it without you.  The finished product looks awesome and it's a lot more functional that what we had before! We are now ready to wean calves in style with our new cattle corral!

Below are the before and after pictures of the cattle corral and bunk line. There are a lot of them because I wanted to show off all of Adam's hard work!

Before pictures of the cattle corral:

The lane for unloading and loading cattle. The loading
 chute is on the right. 

The old sorting pens.

The old sorting pens. This picture is taken looking north.

The old pens that were made of railroad ties and cattle

Looking west.  You can see how much the fence is
leaning from years of wear and tear from the cattle. 

The old fence along our yard. 

Demolition Day!

Tearing out all of the old fence. 

Adam had to pull out all of the railroad ties with the

This is where the old sorting pens, alley way, and loading
 lane were.

The fence along our yard is gone. 

After everything had been cleared away. 

Looking west.  We are ready to start the building

North view

East view 

The fence building supplies are here!
The semi trailer of hedge posts for the new corral.

Let the construction begin!
Adam and Andy are working on setting the corner posts
for the corral. 

After setting a corner post.

Using tamping rods to pack the dirt into the post hole 
in order to hold the post in place. 

The guys working on another corner post. 

The corner posts set for the loading chute. 

Using the Bobcats to drill the post holes and move the
huge hedge posts. 

Making progress with setting all of the posts. 

The posts for the alley way and lane.

South view of the lane. 

Getting the posts set for the sorting pens. 

Top view of all the posts for the sorting pens. 

Addition of the gravel in the alley way. 

(This picture was taken by Adam's cousin, Eric Armstrong)
Adam working on welding the panels to go around the cattle

(This picture was taken by Adam's cousin, Eric Armstrong)

The panels are here!

(This picture was taken by Adam's cousin, Eric Armstrong)
After the panels were put on, Adam trimmed off the tops
of the hedge posts to make them all even. 

(This picture was taken by Adam's cousin, Eric Armstrong)
Adam was covered in yellow sawdust by the time he got
done with this job. Not my idea of a fun time on a 100+
degree day!

The after pictures of the new corral:

The completed lane with the new panels. 

North view of the completed alleyway and sorting pens. 
East view of the sorting pens. 


New concrete pad and cattle waterer. 

The new fence along the yard. 

A picture of the clips that hold the panel in place.

Top view looking south at the completed pens. 

Pictures of the bunk line remodel:

The old bunk line. 

Demo day- Adam tore out the old posts and wire. 

(This picture was taken by Adam's cousin, Eric Armstrong)
Adam moved all of the concrete bunks out of the way so new 
pipe could be set. This is a picture of him putting the bunks
back in place. 

(This picture was taken by Adam's cousin, Eric Armstrong)

Close up of the welding job. Adam had to weld each
vertical piece to the horizontal piece. 

Adam always likes to leave his mark on a welding job.
This way he has a record of when it was done. 

Getting close to being done. 

Adam welding the wire clips to the metal pipe. 

The portable welding rig. 

The clips Adam welded to the post. 

After all of the clips have been put on. 

After the wire has been strung through the clips. 

The after picture of the new bunk line. 

The new bunk line is DONE!

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