Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Injured Reserve

This week I had to put myself on the injured reserve list. A ruptured Achilles tendon is pretty hard to deal with on the ranch and it is even harder for the rancher to deal with. Why? When you get an excuse to not go out into the terrible weather and harsh working conditions are you disappointed? Well, it all goes back to finding that one thing that is your passion and mine is agriculture.

I worry and feel guilty that I can't help my family as they care for our animals during this difficult time. It is hard enough work when all of us are available but subtract one and it is even more arduous. The winter can be a really tough time of the year. The weather is tough The landscape is either snow and ice covered or knee deep mud or both. Physically, this time of the year is demanding.

Mentally it is also demanding. In a couple of weeks, we will start to have baby lambs and a couple of weeks after that baby calves. This calls for long hours and that often strains both body and mind to the limit. We put ourselves through this because we love what we do, it is part of us.

So I am worried about my family as they take up extra work in my absence. Like most farms and ranches we are a family operation with three generations involved. But like other farms and ranches our neighbors have stepped up and lent a helping hand. But I must say I am also very disappointed.

Yes, I am disappointed. Lambing and calving seasons make this one of my favorite times of the year. I wish I could give each one of you the experience of finding new lambs or calves and making sure they get the care they need right after birth. It is an incredible experience. I am also disappointed that I will not be able to feed or care for my livestock for an extended period.

Like most farmers and ranchers I will probably push the limit of what I can do sooner than I should. However, at least for the moment, I am determined to follow doctor's orders. When what you do is a passion you will work hard to get back to it. That is the dedication to agriculture that I share with my fellow farmers and ranchers.

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