July 16, 2014
This update is long overdue, however the second quarter of 2014 was exciting and productive. Breeding season has concluded and appeared to go very well. It was a cool spring and the grass is still in exceptional shape. All the cows have been consolidated into one group and have been put down into the gully for July grazing. We will confirm the breeding scenarios when the females are ultrasound pregnancy diagnosed in early August.
Haying is also just nicely underway with a great stretch of warm and dry weather to facilitate progress. We were fortunate to have acquired a used Hesston by Massey Ferguson 2856 baler and are excited to see how it works this summer for the hay and straw.
On July 8th, I was able to judge the Estevan Regional 4-H Show and enjoyed being around a pleasant group of members and their projects. That same day Shari was able to spend time with her Cattlemen’s Young Leaders mentor-Denise Lafrentz from Wheatland Cattle Co. I was fortunate to join them later in the afternoon and tour one of the premier Simmental farms in the country.
On July 5th, Shari and I were married at the farm. We had a tremendous day and were thrilled to host guests from 4 provinces and 8 states to partake in the day. This event served as great motivation to make sure the yard was in great shape and should make yard care easier for the remainder of the summer.
On June 15th, this area hosted the Saskatchewan Hereford Association Annual General Meeting. A tour component was also added this year to try and enhance participation. It seemed to be effective and included tour stops at Double J Polled Herefords, Standard Hill Livestock, Misty Valley Farms and here. Thanks to those who took the time to attend and participate in the day.
Shari and I also had the opportunity to judge the Northeast Alberta Regional Heifer Show in Myrnam on June 14. It was a newly conceived show that included all the 4-H disciplines and conformation classes for females only. It was well organized and the group of members were enthusiastic and highly motivated.
Also in June, I was fortunate to judge the steer show on June 2nd at the Lloydminster 4-H Regional Expo Show. I am convinced over the past 3 years that the quality of cattle and presentation on the part of 4-H members has been enhanced greatly. It was pleasing to see a high percentage of steers fit within a relatively close weight range, which hasn’t always been the case.
On May 24th we travelled to Elk Point for their club achievement day and then visited Laura Bodell in Sherwood Park that evening. We stayed over in Fort Saskatchewan that night so we could attend the Josephburg Country Classic on the 25th. I judged conformation classes, while Shari did the showmanship. We were very impressed with the participation and enthusiasm demonstrated by the organizers and young people.
We were able to turn out cows on the 21st of May, which is about 12 days later than normal. It was a late spring and very cool, fortunately we had ample hay left over to feed for the duration. Cows were very content to leave the yard and a noticeable improvement in appearance occurred after being on
grass for a couple weeks.
We initiated breeding on April 21 when a group of 40 heifers synchronized and AI bred. We were happy with the results based on the number of repeats after one cycle elapsed. All cows were AI bred on natural heats as well beginning that day. Cyclicity amongst the cows was more prevalent than it had been a year previous.