my Mom and my brother (didn't get a picture of him) sold their herd of beef cows and calves. My Dad's had animals on his farm for the last 54 years but it's getting too hard for him to work through calving season (the most labour intensive time of the year with round the clock checking, helping and doctoring of new baby calves)so they made the decision to disperse the herd.
After the 165 calves (these guys aren't a year old yet but their birthdays are in December and January) sold, we moved over to another ring and they sold 248 cows.
This is the cow with the crumpled horn - it was pretty amazing to sit beside my parents and hear them talk about individual characteristics of so many of the animals. They really did have a special attachment to these cows that provided their livelihood.
When all was said and done, considering the tough economic times the cattle industry is in, the sale returns were decent. Nothing like a year ago before the Canadian dollar went so high, nothing like pre-BSE times, and definitely not a fair return for input costs and labour. But this part of our parents' lives is over - no more daily feeding of cows, no checking for new calves late on wintery nights, no driving around to check pastures, no making feed all summer long and no more wondering if the bills will get paid. I'm glad they raised us on the farm. There are 5 kids in my family and we all are farm families - pretty amazing! I think today is a day to reminisce, rejoice and reflect.