It’s time to get into Christmas mode

One month from now, we will just be working on the leftovers from our Christmas meal. So I’d better get organized–and fast.
Every year my intentions are to be organized and to have things all dialed in. Alas, once again, I am a long way from that. I partially can blame it on the fact that I have not been feeling good at all and my energy levels run out long before all my work plans for the day are completed.
I made it to the walk-in clinic last week and I’m hoping that I’m headed in the right direction. I still haven’t even started my outdoor lights or washing walls (perhaps this is the week!)
I would skip it but it truly is my favourite part of the season. Last year I purchased an artificial tree and I have big dreams of putting it up “way earlier,” but that hasn’t happened, either.
My sister-in-law, on the other hand, has been in full Christmas mode for about a month already.
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I reduced the sheep flock last week as six lambs and two cull ewes made their way to the abattoir. I am not finished selling yet but that was my first day for lambs.
Thankfully, a friend stopped in the night I was loading lambs and he helped. They are challenging!
This weekend, all the remaining ewes, alpaca, goat, and our new “borrowed” ram were vaccinated and de-wormed. Our handling facilities we purchased this spring for the sheep have made this job much easier!
The ram is out now so we can expect lambs five months from now. We have two replacement lambs that we will wait and breed in another week.
We still must run our bulls through but we ran out of time this weekend. I was in Dryden for meetings Friday night and Saturday, so it limited our weekend work to one day only.
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There is a group of producers working on a project known as “North West Beef.” We’re hoping we can come together and open some larger markets to see beef across the northwest.
This is a challenging project as price is everything. Having producers sit down and agree on things like feeding protocols and target weights–even a brand–is challenging.
We have agreed on a brand, though: “Raised Right . . . Here.” I am not crazy about the … but that is what was voted on.
One requirement to be a part of this group is to participate in and pass an audit in the Verified Beef Plus program. There are eight farms that have passed in the northwest to date.
They are looking at doing further audits this March. If you are interested, let me know and I will get you on a list.
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I am hosting “Forage Focus 2018” at the Emo Agricultural Research Station next Thursday (Dec. 6) from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
If you would like more information or want to attend, I will need your name A.S.A.P. You can see the agenda at www.ontarioforagecouncil.com/programs/forage-focus
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Thank you to those of you who took the time to attend the abattoir’s annual meeting. I honestly can say it is very disheartening that more don’t attend it.
This is crucial to all production in Rainy River District. I do know that if and when the doors close, we certainly will be hearing about it all then.
Thanks to those who are on the board: James Gibson, David Donaldson, Steve Loshaw, Kim Jo Bliss, Jason Teeple, Gary Esselink, Colin Vanbeek, Jennifer Wall, and Delton Martin.
And thanks also to Dale Pollard and Penny Hutton–two essential staff members.