May 3-9, 2004Working and planning
This week started with me in meetings and Shawn helping move calves to pasture for a local rancher who was injured while gathering cows and calves to take to summer pasture. His pelvis was split in half and he had to be flown to the hospital in Boise, Idaho.
While we were both gone, Duke from the Rocking 11 Ranch brought a bull up. Duke and Rhea are the owners of Rocking 11 Ranch which is on the other side of town from us. Rhea is one of the sisters that we are buying our ranch from. We are running cow/calf pairs for them on our irrigated pasture for the summer and fall since we don't have our own herd yet. Shawn brought the pairs up a couple days later. We will start with the one bull and 30 pairs but bring more up if we have the pasture for them.
Now that they are here they are our full responsibility until they leave. We will irrigate the pasture, keep the water troughs full, keep salt out and check on them to make sure they are healthy. Doing this pays better than to just rent out the pasture.
Shawn drove his fuel truck 4 days this week. He left before daylight everyday so that he could get something done on the ranch too. It is about 300 miles round trip and takes around 7 hours so he is putting in some long days. After he drove all morning he came home to either spray fence rows, work on fixing the rock picker, burn brush and got the pairs moved. He also managed to help with house work, spray the dandelions in the yard and made dinner a couple of nights. He even surprised me with an invitation to join him in town for breakfast one morning.
We try to spend time each day talking about our plans for the days ahead. With both of us working away from the ranch, it helps for us to talk about plans so we know what we each have going on. The housework and bookwork are generally my responsibility and the equipment and vehicle maintenance are Shawn's. Everything else we share, this place is run on teamwork.
One of this week's discussions has been about what to do about the place we rented. We were going to plant spring wheat this week. After looking at the cost of fuel to pump the water up the hill to irrigate and the risk of not having enough water, planting fall wheat looked like a better idea. Fuel prices are almost $2.00 per gallon for diesel and going up more. It will take 60+ gallons per day to pump the water. The other issue of water shortage is that the water rights for the place are pretty new which means that it will be one of the first places to get shut off when water is low. The water rights on our ranch are very old so we would be one of the last places to be shut off. I talked to people that we are renting from and they agreed that fall planting was a better idea. Shawn will fallow the fields all summer so that they will be in great shape for planting this fall.
I am working on opening a feed store in the town that we live by. I will be spending 3 to 4 days per week for the next month 4 hours per day with a business facilitator to help with the business plan. Myron is a great help, we have met 3 time already this first week. I hope to open this summer. When not working on research for the store, there was plenty of housework to do. I also worked in the yard and with my horses. They both needed hair cuts and brushed.