When it’s shipping season on the ranch, I am up before the sun – preparing the meal for the cowboys, and feeding an early breakfast to my man.
Soon the sun is high and the yard filled with horse trailers and cattle trucks, and the sound of incessant bellowing is heard.My Lucia doesn’t want to miss one minute of the action!Sometimes the drivers get the truck backed up perfectly the first try, sometimes it takes many tries. But it all works out. Calves and trucks wait to be loaded.Sorting off a specific number of calves to be loaded.Shipping is the sigh relief of a job well done at the end of the ‘cattle year’. Sometimes the calves come in at a good weight, and sometimes under. Sometimes the market is high, and sometimes low. But for those of us who enjoy this life, it is worth the uncertainty and risk. We ship off the babies, then begin preparing for next year – starting the cycle all over.
We don’t ranch because it is a sure way to get rich, but because we enjoy the way of life. The quietness, working with the livestock, the pleasure of working outdoors, the comfort of a neighborly community who has your back – all things that are disappearing from our culture in America at a rapid rate.
We ask for help when we need it, we return the favor gladly, and we have a jolly good time doing so. We find comradeship and sympathy during the rough years, mutual cheer during the good.
Next time you eat beef, think about the hard-working ranch families who raised it.