Waiting for last cows to calve

I’m sure no one is complaining about these spring-like days and I’m not, either, except I worry that we will pay for it later–when we truly should be getting the spring-like days.
Though I wasn’t born for the “Spring of ’66,” I’ve heard many times about the amount of snow that arrived in March of that year.
Our neighbours to the east in Temiskaming District have a tremendous amount of snow and a friend of mine had a 14-month-old dairy barn that collapsed with the snow load.
Fortunately, only a few animals were lost but he has a tremendous mess to clean up and cattle had to be moved to surrounding farms.
• • •
I’m waiting for my last five cows to calve. This is the hard part–they are going to make me wait, I’m afraid.
I still like to keep a close eye on the other calves as these sudden weather changes can make for some perfect conditions for sick calves. Scours (diarrhea) in calves can result in a huge loss if you are not on top of it.
It is the most frustrating thing to have healthy calves one day and the next they can’t even stand. Many people will vaccinate both cows and calves to hopefully avoid such mishaps.
Happiness is when you go outside and all is calm. Most times if you have a sick calf, the momma cow is long letting you know!
• • •
I shared some of my calf photos with various organizations that always are looking for photos to promote agriculture.
One was posted but, alas, one of the comments was “poor thing will likely be tortured!”
It is unfortunate that we continue to be so misunderstood. My comment in return was “it is in everyone’s best interest that we take the best possible care of our animals.”
As in any industry, there always is a bad apple but we all shouldn’t be judged by this. Having healthy, happy animals and land effects our bottom line.
It is hard to believe that we would work this hard and not care about the well-being of our animals and land.
I found a great quote and posted it on my Twitter account: “Farmers feed your family, then take a second job to feed their own. 60% of farmers must take a second job off-farm to support their family and their farming operation!”
I think what likely bothers me the most is the fact that we don’t stop and think about how great our industry is. Agriculture often is overlooked as an industry, including right here in our own district.
We likely are one of largest local shopping industries around and it is a very exciting time to be in agriculture.
Maddie and Marlee talk about growing up and being involved with agriculture—but for many years we discouraged our kids from doing this because of the hard work and little pay.
We are starting to change our view on this, however, because people are starting to appreciate and realize that we are growing your food and feeding your families, and this is a very satisfying career.
I shared this with my brother the other day:
•three jobs exist for every agriculture graduate with a bachelor’s degree;
•more than one-third of surveyed agriculture companies reported difficulty in finding qualified candidates;
•it’s projected that 38 percent of jobs in Canadian agriculture, in a variety of fields, will be unfilled; and
•StatsCan predicts there will be a shortage of workers to fill the available opportunities in most agriculture sectors.
In Life Sciences (such as product inspectors, and landscape and horticulture technicians), there are expected to be 18,000 jobs available but with only 15,000 professionals to fill them.
Closer to the farm, there are expected to be 90,000 roles available for contractors, operators, and supervisors in agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture—and only 56,000 professionals to fill them.

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