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Guest Blog

Read about different aspects of the industry from a variety of perspectives. Guest writers include cattle producers and beef industry experts.

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Last week, I was interviewing an operator for the January edition of Progressive Cattleman. This operation is a little different (OK, a lot different) than your average ranch. They run 800 commercial beef cows, farm 2,000-plus acres and operate a 1,500-cow dairy.

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One of the most underappreciated tools of the cattle business is a pair of gloves. Even a worn-out pair of gloves will help keep your fingers from being cut, burned, sliced, shredded (hoof rasp anyone?) and stepped on.

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My iPhone buzzed with a text message. It read, “What you decide on chicken coop?” The phone rang an hour later and I sent the call to voicemail. Later, when I read the transcript, it said, “This is, um, Eric – the chickn’ coop guy – um, wondering if I can deliver it today.” There were also two emails, “Wondering if you want this chickn’ coop. Plz respond.”

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Through some recent life events, I have come to familiarize myself with the acronyms MSHA and OSHA. Before this year, I had never heard of MSHA; I knew OSHA had something to do with safety because I often heard cowboys say, “This probably isn’t OSHA approved,” while doing something fairly dangerous.

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Branding cattle is a tradition (and practical measure) that dates back as far as the ancient Egyptians, but for most Americans the tradition is immortalized in Western movies as a symbol of the Old West.

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Depending on where you call home, spring and winter swapped places this year. While the Winter Olympics were taking place, it was 50 to 60 degrees in Idaho. But once March rolled around, winter decided to show up.

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