Trying hard to stay positive in the cold

Happy New Year!
I’m thinking there are a few of us wishing for some warmer weather! I’m trying to stay positive because, yes, it could always be worse. But it could be a whole lot better, too.
I’ve been battling with one water bowl during this cold snap—again. On the bright side, it’s only one and could be dealing with all of them.
It’s very hard to work without your mitts on, and you have to be extra careful because everything breaks that much easier in this cold.
I also ended up feeding all the animals extra thinking that I might not have to start the tractor for a few days in this cold. The tractor doesn’t warm up a whole bunch (the oil and fluids are darn stiff). But, again, it always could be worse!
I think the cold weather is beginning to wear on the animals, though. Cows shake their heads briskly as they make the trek up to get water and I’ve actually physically made my rabbits move because I wondered if they were froze in one spot!
The sheep, meanwhile, spend more time sleeping—keeping their skinny little legs covered by their tremendous fur coats.
Fortunately, this cold snap will pass and I’m looking forward to the warmer days ahead of us.
• • •
As many may have seen in the recent Rainy River Regional Abattoir Committee newsletter, we once again are asking for donations!
Despite the recent rumour I heard that “the abattoir only helps two farms in the district” (one being myself), it is here for much more than two of us!
Without the abattoir, our four health-care facilities wouldn’t be able to serve (some) local food in the facilities. We are one of the few districts that can boost this statement!
We also wouldn’t be able to sell local (safe, inspected) meat to our friends, family, and neighbours—legally!
The facility is open and available to all producers, no matter your size or, for the most part, your commodity. It handles beef, buffalo, elk, rabbit, sheep, and goats, and this year they added poultry to the line-up.
I know so many wonder why things are so tight? Simply put, we need more animals using the facility.
When the abattoir was in building stage, cattle prices were low and people were looking for alternative markets. Since then, and once the facility opened, prices have risen and people are selling live cattle at decent prices.
But we quickly forget that it is only natural for cattle markets (just like most markets such as grain, gold, forestry, etc.) to drop and the abattoir will be more valuable to the producers then.
The other thing is there isn’t money in butchering cattle and we have some extremely high bills to cover!
We all are scratching our heads to try and come up with solutions, and again I’m trying to stay positive thinking we will find a way out of this because that’s what kind of people we are!
There is something out there called the $10 challenge, which I thought was worth mentioning. If every household in Ontario spent just $10 of their grocery budget on local foods each week, there would be a $2.4-billion influx into the provincial economy each year!
Wow, that $10 could impact our communities in a big way.
Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions on fundraising activities we should consider, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any board member!
• • •
Just a quick reminder that the annual meeting of the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association is slated for Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Way School in Stratton.
Please mark this date down as we are looking forward to hearing from our membership.
We, like all organizations, need to hear what we are doing right or wrong!

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