District mourning popular businessman

A tragic accident claimed the life of a very well-respected and appreciated businessman in Stratton last week.
When I first received word, I kept hoping it wasn’t true and that everything would be all right. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
Like so many others, I enjoyed my visits to Stratton Service and made sure it was time to gas up so I could support his shop. Shawn McDonald was very understanding of our farming operations because of his background, so he certainly went out of his way to help you get going when you were busy making hay or whatever season we might have been in.
Here at the agricultural research station, we previously had to drive our tractor to him. But just last year, he made arrangements for a trailer so we didn’t have to make the long drive with our tractor.
These were the little things that certainly make you want to shop locally. His shop and yard were kept immaculate, and he always greeted you with a warm smile and always called you by name.
This tragedy will affect our community in a very big way and my heart goes out to his family. The McDonald family is very active in our community and we will try to help them through this difficult time.
• • •
I was worried most of the winter about a cow getting over on her back because of the deep snow, but my cows made it through the deep snow and their heavy bellies from being so pregnant.
But I woke up the other morning (tired, so I didn’t jump up too quickly, either) to find a strange view. Then I saw that dreaded look of a cow struggling to get up.
I rushed to put some clothes on and ran to the barn, calling the neighbour at the same time. I grabbed a bunch of rope to try and pull her up.
I tried with no luck, so I raced back through the deep mud to get the tractor (I likely should have just taken the tractor in the first place).
Anyway, my neighbour arrived at the same time, and I managed to push her up and she returned to her feet. They say they only have 15 minutes until they die and I’m darn sure I was close to that.
By the time I left for work at the ag station, her calf was sucking and I crossed my fingers that she would still be okay when I got home. She was, and seems to be doing okay.
This is another time that I am thankful to have good neighbours you can call on morning and night!
Cows are unlike horses—they cannot roll themselves over and it only takes a slight deviation in the ground and they can get themselves into trouble.
It is tough when you find a dead cow that got over too far on her back, but you cannot be with them 24 hours a day and it doesn’t take very long for them to die in these circumstances.
• • •
Marlee’s ewe, “Clover,” had a single lamb this past week. I ended up giving her a hand since she seemed to be struggling.
Boy, there is quite a difference in pulling a lamb compared to a calf!
It is a pure black girl, and it sounds like her name is “Pok-A-Dot.” She is a cutie; busy bouncing around.
Meanwhile, the twins, “Salt” and “Pepper,” made their visit to the Fort Frances Nursery School and J.W. Walker. They were excellent travellers and I think the kids enjoyed seeming them with their diapers on (we didn’t want to make a mess in the school).
Maddie was pretty proud to display her additions.
• • •
Despite the miserable weather over the weekend, we ensured the electric fences were working and split up the cows and calves, as well as moved the bulls home.
The process is starting all over again. It certainly didn’t feel like breeding season with snow flying through the air.
• • •
Of course, the girls came out for a visit on Sunday and wanted to do some more hunting for deer antlers.
My boyfriend/partner was feeling bad that Marlee hadn’t found herself a horn, so he brought one from home and she was lucky enough to find it this weekend.
She was telling me that if she found one, she was going to give it to daddy. But once she found it, she was keeping it!

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