Same conditions for all

I spent a few days out of the district last week as I ventured off to meeting in London, where I saw some great crops and some poor ones.
In general, in speaking with people across the province, most everyone was in similar conditions as we are. Some were finished haying with low yields, some still were trying to finish, and some were close to starting the next cut.
But I don’t think anyone was pleased with the weather of 2009. Everyone was talking about how cool things have been.
We spent most of our time indoors discussing the beef industry (which can be kind of depressing), though we were able to spend one afternoon on a bus tour.
We visited a large dairy operation, the Stanton Family Farm, which has been selling high-end dairy genetics for a number of years.
After selling the original farm, they’ve expanded in a big way—now milking more than 800 cows three times a day.
They are set up to expand to 2,000 cows at the drop of a hat if supply management should change.
We then drove through a large feed-lot. They were feeding 5,500 animals, and it was really neat as there were cattle from Rainy River in the feed-lot (I’m sure they were the best-looking group in the lot!)
Eventually, when we have everyone using our “Rainy River Raised” tags, everyone else will have no trouble spotting what good cattle we have up here, as well.
We also did a quick visit to the “Black Donnelly” homestead, so we had a bit of a history lesson, too.
• • •
Many of us are trying to prepare for the Emo Fair nowadays as it’s only a few weeks away.
This past weekend, two of the 4-H beef clubs held their fun days. It’s a day we try to get together with our steers and heifers to prepare and practise for the fair.
Things went well with our club, though I had another tear-jerking moment.
I loaded up our two heifers since my “almost” stepson, Damien, has been showing a heifer for a few years now (I say “almost” since one time when Damien was introducing himself, he called me his “almost” stepmom).
We then went over and picked up my girlfriend’s son and his steer. I just couldn’t believe it–it seems like only a few short years ago that she and I were in 4-H together and now here we are today with her son in the program!
Kind of neat, but kind of hard to believe, as well. I started dragging cattle to the fair when I was 12 and haven’t missed a year yet.

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