Great run of cattle sold at spring sale

We had a great run of cattle at the spring sale this past Saturday in Stratton–1,303 head to be exact, with gross sales hitting $885,651.
As usual, we encountered a few challenges with our new equipment, but we tried our best to make things work (i.e., staying up to the wee hours in the morning punching tag numbers into the computer to be sure we could advertise age-verified cattle).
We really saw the need for an Internet connection at the sales barn this weekend. It’s something we will have to have in place for our next sale (Aug. 22).
We have been putting this off since we really only need it for about three or four days for each of our sales.
I keep thinking that our great-grandfathers who built this place. They never would have been able to imagine the need for something like this.
Things have changed–but sadly the prices haven’t!
A couple of the producers who were a part of building our sales barn were down checking things out this past weekend, visiting and sharing some stories. One lit up a cigarette but the other one quickly pointed out that you’re not suppose to do that anymore.
They both agreed they were smoking when they built the place, so they continued their visit while enjoying a puff. Good for them.
We’re happy they are here to share the changes with us (even if the changes are not always agreed upon).
I also heard a couple of other good stories about prices. One couple from Devlin, who were dating about 25 years ago, were heading to the Stratton sale on a date (everyone should experience a nice romantic date like this) and on the drive they were talking about prices they hoped to get.
A quarter-century ago, they were hoping for a $1/pound and, sadly, that is all we are hoping for today.
The other was our “Squirrel Pie” friend (Jack Elliott). He said he hadn’t been in the barn for likely 20 or 30 years and noted our barn improvements were amazing, the cows have doubled in size, but we still were getting the same price for our cattle!
We can only hope things will improve, and have to be reminded sometimes that things could be worse.
• • •
Again, I want to show appreciation for the staff we have at the sales barn—it is hard work and long hours, and little thanks.
We truly have to give credit to the Teeple boys for keeping their heads up and getting through a very tough weekend. Sadly, their uncle passed away on Thursday night while loading up his last load of cattle for the sale.
It was tough to keep going, but they knew they had to.
It also was hard to see his cattle pass through the ring. As a farmer, you work hard to get your cattle to market and watching your cattle go through the ring instills a great sense of pride and feelings of accomplishment.
As a community, we will be there for the family, hoping we can cope together during this difficult time.
• • •
I attended the funeral of Dr. Roach today (April 27). I never really knew “Doc,” but I heard many stories of him and what a great veterinarian he was.
He spent a lot of time on all the farms in Rainy River District as those were the days of tuberculosis and brucellosis testing. I remember my grandma and my great uncles talking very highly of him.
His daughter said in her eulogy that he loved the farmers of Rainy River District as much as he did the animals.
The story she recounted that will stick with me the most was that in the summer of 2007, the family was cleaning out his house and moving him into Rainycrest in Fort Frances. When cleaning out the freezer, they found their childhood cat still preserved there!
It was good to hear I’m not the only one who has stored my animals waiting for the time to bury them at a later date.
• • •
Despite the fact I could have slept all day on Sunday (my brain hurts after the cattle sale), I managed to get all my cattle moved around and sorted out for breeding.
It went well and I gladly accepted help this time (I sometimes think it is easier by yourself because then you cannot be mad or holler at someone or, worse yet, swear!)
Next week, the bulls will be turned out and we are starting the process all over again!

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