Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Lifetime

Today -

my Dad

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.


  1. It's hard to believe that after so many years of farming this can so drastically change in one day. How are Grandma and Grandpa doing with the changes? I'm sure it will take some time to adjust. I'm glad you and Dad went to support and encourage them. I have so many fond memories of their farm, feeding calves, helping put out bales, chasing the cows in for milking or checking them in the evening to make sure all is well. I'm sure you have so many more. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of this.

  2. I'm sure this was a BIG day in their lives!!!!

  3. I think it is great that they have done this for so many years and i can imagine that today was difficult for them. I hope that they find much joy and opportunity with this step in their lives!

  4. esther11:14 AM

    Dear Lord,
    This career and way of living have been a true blessing in many lives including mine. The lessons we learned and the people we've become because of this occupation deserve recognition. Help us to hold these lessons and values close and to instill them in our children. Bless our parents and siblings with good health and happy days ahead. Amen

  5. It's a major life change for them. I, too, have fond memories of being on their farm with them. I'm glad it was there for us as we were growing up and I'm sure there will still be some dogs and cats hanging around for Helayna to play with when we visit. :)
    I'm glad you were able to go and support them this day.

  6. "I think today is a day to reminisce, rejoice and relect" that statement of yours!

    How hard to sell off the herd that you work your whole life to achieve...had to be a hard day for all of you!

    Nice looking cows and calves....quite a herd they acquired!

  7. Anonymous12:00 PM

    This post brought a tear to my eye, Crystal. What a big day.