Part of the Emerson’s efforts goes toward raising show cattle.
The month of March was long, cold and busy for us on the ranch. The first week we received nearly six inches of sleet and ice, which was extremely tough on the cattle and made for long days feeding and breaking ice. No matter the weather, farmers and ranchers know taking care of our animals comes first.
Kim and I make numerous livestock shows during the month from our local show in Checotah to our Regional Show held in Muskogee, which Kim serves as the beef superintendent and on the Board of Directors. Kim spends a week there helping with all facets of the show. We believe the 4-H and the FFA students are the future of agriculture and we try to support them as much as possible. During the Oklahoma Youth Expo, two heifers we raised made the champion percentage Simmental drive.
Two heifers the Emersons raised made it into the champion percentage Simmental drive.
As I am writing this, the grass is getting greener and we are making plans on getting the cattle de-wormed, vaccinated and moved to spring pastures during the first weeks of April. The brightest spot this month has been being able to announce that Kim and I are expecting our first child in October and the excitement of sharing that with everyone. Till next time may your grass be green and your cattle fat!
Josh and Kim are expecting their first child in October!
Zac and the kids chopping ice as cows wait for a drink.
All living things must have water. Humans can live up to 10 days without food, but only 3 days without water! Early in February, we struggled with extreme cold temperatures and as good stewards of God’s creation (farmers and ranchers), we must under any condition care for the animals.
When water troughs and ponds freeze up we must do whatever is necessary to get our animals water. Most of the time this just includes “chopping ice” with an axe until we reach water. This is a daily occurrence.
Because of the extreme drought western Oklahoma has faced, we are using solar pumps to pump water from 50-year-old wells into troughs. The big concern with that is when it gets so cold outside the water in the wells freeze up. Then our only option is to “haul water” in trailers to cattle. So far we have been blessed to either move cattle to different pastures that had deeper wells or the ponds on a few places still had some water.
Hope you enjoy the pictures of our family “chopping ice”. The kids really enjoy this time with dad!
Brushing the snow off a pond to find the best place to chop ice.
Cattle gather around a chopped hole in a pond to get a drink.
A chunk of the ice chopped away from the pond. You can see the thickness of the ice.
We took a morning and rode along in Josh Emerson’s feed truck as he fed and checked cattle near Checotah, Oklahoma. Josh took the time to explain how winter storms complicate the task of animal care and why ranchers make animal care a top priority, even in sub-freezing temperatures.