Feeling a bit frustrated

Last week I found myself a bit frustrated—mainly because of having a few too many things on my plate.
Even though the cattle sale was behind us, some of the business related to it obviously spills over into the weekdays.
And, like many other times before, we seldom hear any of the good things that result from the hard work that is performed at the Stratton sales barn.
I’d like to mention that we do not profess to be perfect and we likely will make a mistake every now and then. Myself, I need to lose weight, swear less, and start saying “no” more frequently.
I have written a few times before about our payment procedure—we cannot pay the producer until we have been paid for all cattle.
There is a ministry program in place that allows all licensed dealers seven business days to pay. Sure, we could set our own rules but that probably would mean we would lose some of our major buyers.
We’ve tried to get ourselves a larger over-draft but these days, we would need to have it around $2.5 million and no one is interested in helping us with that.
We are doing the best we can as we don’t operate weekly (we only have four sales a year).
The other common complaint or mistake is that people will tell us that they end up with the wrong animal colour or sex on the animals they sell.
Again, this is an error but don’t ever kid yourself—the buyers are buying the cattle on what they see, not what I type! And to be clear, I’d like to walk you through the process on what it is I have to type!
As cattle enter the ring, I insert a weight slip into the printer. I then enter ‘1’ for calves, ‘2’ for yearlings, or ‘3’ for cows and bulls.
The ringman hands me the deliver slip, which gives me the four-digit number that I enter that brings up whose cattle they are. At the same time, I then enter the number of head in the ring to get the scale to send the weight to the printer.
Next, I enter the number of head that are in the ring into the computer, and from there I enter ‘101’ (which is red steers), ‘102’ (red heifers), ‘103’ (red cows), ‘104’ (red cow/calf), or ‘105’ (red bull).
But that is just for the reds—the 200s are blacks, the 300s are tans, the 400s are Simmentals, the 500s are red-white face, the 600s are black-white face, the 700s are Charolais, the 800s are Holsteins, the 900s are roan, and the 1000s are grey.
So you can bet that I easily can slip up and enter a wrong number.
That isn’t the end of the numbers, either. The weights automatically are transferred into the system now, which is a huge bonus, but we then wait for the price and the buyer number.
All these numbers happen in a rather short period of time and have you seen my fingers? They sometimes are a little big on a keyboard.
I just would like to reiterate that the buyers buy the cattle on what they see in the ring—not based on the codes that I’m keying in.
I certainly try my best to enter the codes correctly but like I said, mistakes get made.
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My intention for “Moos from the Herd” is to promote agricultural and all the excitement around it, so I apologize for this column.
But I hope it makes people stop and think that it is easy to find fault—and maybe we should think about all the things that are done right instead!
• • •
Please join the Rainy River Federation of Agricultural this Saturday (Nov. 7) at 5:30 p.m. at the Emo Legion for its annual dinner and meeting.
It is a great night to get out and show our support for the hard work this group does for us.
Tickets can be purchased from any RRFA director!

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