Cattle are now high and dry

I certainly cannot complain about the barnyard being wet and sloppy this week. These cold nights (and some days) have dried things up again—and my cattle are high and dry.
You can pretty much walk anywhere on the snow.
Unfortunately, the cattle can walk anywhere, too. The calves have been exploring and think they are pretty smart by expanding their play area.
The yearlings actually are exploring, but not where they should be. The electric fence is not working well yet, so the yearlings are pushing the envelope a bit.
I’d love for them to get a nasty shock as they are licking the wire, but they need to be standing in a nice puddle of water and it’s too stiff for that right now.
The time will come, however, and that will be the end of licking the fence.
I cannot convey to you how frustrating this makes me feel when I see them not respecting their territory. It makes me anxious for their trip to the abattoir.
I’m going to try and finish some of these guys early for our new, soon-to-be-open store, Rainy River Meats.
The challenge today is moving the cattle around, making a place to feed some a little extra when, like I say, things are still frozen and there still is a fair amount of snow.
The challenge soon will be keeping them out of the mud!
• • •
“Brownie” (the new bunny) made a trip to J.W. Walker School and the Fort Frances Nursery School. He seemed to handle everything well.
We are hoping for baby lambs to show off in the next month!
Maddie is concerned about them making a mess, but I’m sure as a kid, myself, lambs visited the school with a pull-up on!
• • •
It sounds like the Emo and District Lions Club hosted a very successful “Farmers Night” dinner on Friday. I understand they had an excellent turnout, as well as numerous prizes.
My mom was the lucky winner of 25 chicks and a load of gravel (I can see the need for the load of gravel, but I wasn’t so excited about the chicks).
I told her she can keep them at her place, but they keep referencing places that they could be housed at my place. I haven’t been convinced yet.
I was in Thunder Bay for the weekend, so I keep receiving texts telling me that they were just going to leave the chicks in my bathtub for the weekend (my friends had all kinds of funny things they thought they could stir me up with).
I would be more receptive to turning the 25 chicks into a few ducks, but even then I don’t feel I have a location for them.
Besides, I’m not sure if my boyfriend/partner would be willing to build a birdhouse this spring (he suggested we use the playhouse!)
• • •
I attended the Northwestern Ontario Bio-Economy Corp. conference in Thunder Bay, which is why I missed out on “Farmers’ Night.”
The theme of the conference was “A Grassroots Approach,” and I spoke about the research station here in Emo and some of the trials we have been doing with reed canary grass, switchgrass, prairie grass, and miscanthus.
Natalie Hughes, an intern with NOBEC, did a wonderful job of hosting and putting together a great day of speakers and networking.
It turns out that I don’t know if we should be growing any grass at all—blueberries are where the money is at! Mark Bell, from Aroland First Nations, and Trevor Laing of Wawa had some very interesting stories, experiences, and huge successes with blueberries.
Aroland First Nations is surrounded by acres and acres of wild, natural berries while Trevor actually is farming his 600 acres of wild berries.
Very impressive, I must say.
• • •
I will be back at work at the research station every day beginning on Friday (April 1).
I am looking forward to warmer, drier days!

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