Ideas needed to save the Abattoir

Wow, the last week of April and it really don’t seem like it. The 4 or 5 inches of snow last week certainly didn’t help me think spring! I was in Guelph Monday for the day and the grass is green and lawn mowers were venturing out. Around the Quetico section of the drive it was still snowmobiling conditions. Our large province never ceases to amaze me.

Conditions were not great, but we managed to get all cows, calves and yearlings vaccinated on Saturday. Sunday I was heading to Guelph and next weekend being a cattle sale it was now or never. Timing is important with spring vaccines as breeding is the next step and it is great to have that over before the bulls are out. Calves and yearlings will need to be boostered in three weeks and the bulls will go out at that time. We took our time and things went good with little frustration. It is a huge weight off when tasks like this are completed. It is a job that is more difficult to do alone so it gets me a little more stressed out as I must get help.

Saturday, we put six duck eggs in the incubator. We are not sure what kind of luck we will have but we should know in 28 days! Stay tuned.

Along with the depressing weather last week we also had a very down Abattoir Board Meeting. The fact of the matter is – unless something changes, we are not sure how long we will be able to keep the doors open. It is a combination of things that are hurting us. We can’t just pinpoint one thing. Running a business like this is not a job for a volunteer board that all have families, jobs, and farms to run. We have tried to fix / solve so many issues, but it seems to be never ending. Our taxes alone put us in a huge deficit. Our AGM is booked for May 17th at 7:00 p.m. at the Chapple Rec. Centre. I strongly advise members to attend. We hear lots of rumblings of all the things we are not doing correctly. It is time that you attend the meeting. This is not meant to sound like a threat, but it is the actual truth.

This is a busy week. We had to cancel our RRCA Board meeting last week because of the weather. We have rescheduled for Tuesday night and then it will be time to set up for the Cattle Sale. We are thinking we will see around 1300-1400 head. Live cattle prices are good. As usual we are always looking for help to work at the sale. If you are interested, please give James a call at 271-2005. I want to make sure you know you are invited to come and check out the Auction and enjoy our great, home cooking Canteen service. Donna, Barb & Joanne do an excellent job and it is worth your drive to Stratton!

My mom oversaw the farm while I was off to Guelph for a meeting Monday. Of course, what did she find Monday morning? A dead ewe. She hadn’t lambed yet either, but she was close. I was up in the night and early that morning to see her eating, so it happened fast. Dr. Stacey checked her out and found that she had a ruptured blood vessel in the left side of the thorax. She felt it was something that had been going on for a bit. It blew and she bled out in the chest. Nothing we could have done but still you feel bad. She showed us no signs at all. Eating, drinking, and preparing to lamb. The joys of farming.

Condolences to the Stahn and Morrish families on their terrible loss of Kathy. I met Kathy through 4-H and then had the pleasure of meeting her girls through our 4-H program as well. Kathy was strong and tough and wasn’t not afraid of hard work. She fought a hard battle and though we are feeling such a huge loss we hope we can find comfort in knowing she is no longer feeling the pain. Thinking of the families and wishing them better days.