So Why Do We Do It?


Compost pile additions from cleaning out the milking pen.

“It” being the daily chores or the tears when you lose a pair of lambs because the ewe had such severe pneumonia that they couldn’t get enough oxygen. Not to mention feeding in a hailstorm or irrigating in 110-degree heat. Or the labor of splitting fence posts or digging post holes in ground that could give concrete a run for its money. Then there’s the regimen of daily milking or shoveling out the sheep pen.
“It” also includes shoving your arm up a cow’s backside because she has an infection or trimming away the smelly black spots of a fungus from the inside of a ram’s hoof. And “it” includes digging thistles out of the pasture by hand because you don’t want to spray chemicals, or spreading well-rotted manure on the garden.

Baby lambs are so cute.

Well, we do it because we care about what we eat. We think animals should be raised at home, well cared for by the people who will benefit from eating them. We think real tomatoes — even when they’re canned in glass jars — taste much better than the cardboard supermarket variety. We like making (not to mention eating) our own bread and butter and cottage cheese.

Raw milk butter in the making.

We like to know that we can handle pretty much anything life throws at us, from an 18-inch snowfall in 24 hours to a dead water pump to a rattlesnake in the front yard.
We like the challenge of figuring out how to keep that consarned 600-pound boar from destroying his pen.
We do it because we get to see the first swallow of the spring or the glimmer of sunlight on the pond and hear the faint rustle of a goose’s wings as it flies directly overhead.
We do it because of saffron and ruby sunsets and because we love snowball fights.
We do it for the satisfaction of a delicious meal from meat, fruits and vegetables we grew ourselves.

Summer apples must be dealt with no matter how hot it is.

We do it because of the entertainment value in watching baby pigs play tag or lambs springing in stiff-legged bounces over new green grass.
We do it for the pleasure of hearing the sheep talk to each other — often with their mouths full — as they wander around the pasture.
We do it for the scent of apple blossoms on a spring day and the taste of asparagus that was growing in the ground ten minutes before it hit the boiling water.
We do it to pass on skills and experience that have been a lifetime in the making and because we want the kids and grandkids to have the same pleasure in mastering life’s challenges.

Small fry on bottle detail.

We do it because it’s quite a thrill to have several generations of Quarter Horses – all of which you’ve raised yourself – wandering around the pastures.
We do it for the sheer joy of ranching.

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