Tag Archives: Ranch

I chose to farm around it

I was visiting with my young neighbour the other morning.  He’d seen that I started haying and asked if I still use those old grainery’s in my fields.  I said no, not anymore.  He then asked me, well why don’t I burn them?  My response was “Why?”  Well if you don’t use them, why not get rid of them so you don’t have to farm around them?  I just told him I don’t mind them, they can stay.  I have 5 of them throughout my fields and pastures.  Honestly, I enjoy them.  It’s a reminder of our agriculture past.  I was baling today and thinking of his discussion with me as I baled around it.  I could see the guys with 50 and 70 foot airseeders why they’d want to get rid of it.  But I don’t have equipment like that.  Most of my equipment is in that 20 foot range.  So it’s not as big a deal.  But I knew him and he farms with similar equipment.  He just didn’t see the need in keeping an old dilapidated wooden grainery if it’s just in the way.  I don’t see it that way though.  To me it’s a legacy of the past.  Someone went to a lot of effort to build it and it’s probably stored many harvests over its time.  I don’t know how old it is but today I was picturing an old stationary thrashing machine backed up to it and harvest going on many years ago.  Someone then bagging it up and hoisting it out into a wagon to go to town.  It’s probably not that old, but of the same design anyway.  It reminds us of our past.  That we should be humble of what we have now.  Things weren’t always this easy and efficient in agriculture.  We need to remember that and those old grainery’s serve that purpose.  I’m sure in time it will eventually succumb to the elements and collapse.  Then I’ll have to pile it up and burn it.  But until then it can stand tall and proud as a reminder of our past and I’ll continue to farm around it.

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Ranch land developement

Sing it Corb! We’re all seeing this more and more. That large new manufactured house built out on what was once pasture land.


The large compressor station put on what was once a grazing flat. The multitude of roads criss crossing pastures to all the well heads.

And then there’s “Fracking”. But I’ll let you learn about that, since it scares me too much to explain it. I’m glad in my own little corner of the world, I don’t have to deal with any of this all that much. Oil and gas is everywhere but at least I’m a little more left alone then others. What exists around here, I can live with. I don’t like it, but I can live with it. I could see it getting to the point Corb sings about though and that worries me. Not only for my generation but mainly for the next. It’s closer to Calgary that the acreages and big homes are a problem. It’s sad though to go for a drive out in these areas and see those big manufactured homes out where they don’t belong. And this streches all along the rockies from Alberta down to New Mexico. We’re all in the same battle. Ranching is viewed as an iconic part of North America but many who admire it, don’t respect it. As Ian Tyson puts it in this article I found,

“The current policy of liquidating oil and gas resources as quickly as possible is not in Alberta’s best interests,” Canadian country legend Ian Tyson tells reporters. “It is destroying agricultural communities, wildlife diversity, recreational tourism, and the signature landscapes all along the Cowboy Trail.”

It’s a very good article. Written a few years ago but still relevent,

Eastern Slopes battle looms.

“There’s no landscape like this left. You can’t just keep chopping it off into pieces.”

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Horse People and Cattle People

“Horse People”, why does that need to be a term?  Those of us in the general livestock world understand, there’s just plain “Horse People”.  Those that just have horses and think they’re somehow special for that reason.  I belong to and follow some forums, some based on cattle and some on horses.  I read and post occasionally.  But its observing and comparing the two that’s so interesting.  The cattle people are for the most part all so friendly.  Sharing and discussing cattle.  Talking prices and weather.  Then there’s the horse forums.  To quote Austin Powers “Spectacles, Testicals, Wallet and Watch”.  Where do I even start.  The conformation nazies that pick apart everyone elses horses.  The anti-slaughter wingbats cursing out anyone that believes different and telling the breeders they’re the most evil beings on earth for over-populating the horse world.  The ones that keep their horses blanketed and stalled thinking everyone else is abusing their horses.  The people obsessed with papers and lines.  And of course the know it alls.  Can’t forget the know it alls.  “Horse People”.  Why?  Then there’s real world.  I attend cattle sales fairly regularly for feeders in the fall and the occasional horse sale to look at some potential new saddle horses.  Cattle sale, we all visit, joke with each other, discuss prices and such.  Horse sales, whole other ball of wax.  Rudeness seems to run abound.  Last sale I went to I witnessed a horse owner yelling at one of the auction employees because their horse was put within sight of a stud.  Wasn’t even beside it’s pen, just within sight to make them act up.  It’s a horse auction, that’s what happens.  It’s not a horse auction just special for your damn horse.  But no, demanded their horse be moved to a special pen far away from any studs.  I made a mental note of the horse’s number and watched it later be sold to the meat buyer for the going rate.  Would it had been any different if it hadn’t been moved, NO.  “Horse People”.  And that’s just one experience I’ve had at horse sales.  Makes me not really want to go to horse sales anymore, just so I don’t have to be around these “Horse People”.  I don’t know, maybe I’m just getting older and less tolerant of this new society.  I’ve often said I can’t wait to be the old guy in the rocking chair on my deck, complaining about the world.  But I think I’ll find my saddle horses online from now on but they’ll have to have one requirement.  They must also own cattle or some other kind of livestock so I’m not dealing with “Horse People”.

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