Animal Welfare- A topic that production ag fights every day. Well just yesterday, the coolest thing happened in my life. Let me set up the day for you; I stayed at cow camp with my dad and grandma Friday night after my brothers basketball game. On Saturday morning I was awaken by my favorite 5 year old, Olivia. She was there to ride her horse and help us sort calves. We were planning to preg check heifers, so she had asked if she could come ride and help us. Tanner, her dad, had brought her old mare and they were ready for a fun morning. Jacob, my older brother, and I went out to saddle our horses and dad headed to feed. After saddling, Jacob went with Tanner and Olivia, and I stayed and ran gates for my dad for a while.
I was standing at the main gate and Olivia rode over to me and said, “Miss Karoline, guess what? There is a calf out there that is going to die.” I looked at her dad and he didn’t say anything, then I looked way out in the pasture and sure enough there was a calf down. Now you have to understand, we have about 500 young calves that we run on summer grass and calves often get sick, it seems like we are doctoring almost everyday. I said, “How sad Livi!” and she replied, “Well don’t worry, it will go to heaven with all the other cows.” At that moment I couldn’t help but laugh and smile a little.
While this conversation was going on, my brother had loped to the barn and back to the calf with medicine, I pointed that out to Livi and she was quick to say, “Yes Mr. Jacob is riding fast to take care of the calf and make it feel all better.”
'Out of the mouths of babes,' if a 5 year old can understand how much we care about our animals, then I hope the world can too! I can assure you that the rest of the day, she watched that calf like a hawk and by the end of the day it was sitting up and feeling better. We care about each and every calf, and we “ride fast” to take care of them.
Spending the day with Olivia brightens my life, not only because she is so passionate about animals, but because she really makes me think about each and every action. She isn’t shy and she asks tough questions, but she knows that we love our animals, our jobs, and she even teared up a little when it was time to leave. Our family's passion for production ag is being passed down to the next generation one Saturday at a time.
Take time to ask questions, we have nothing to hide.