While farming has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, there are parts that stand the test of time. Production of food is done by fewer and fewer people every year. Making the meager few need to do more and more.
Some things still need to be done the traditional way. Fences need to be mended and maintained. There is no machines that can do that. Where carrots can be planted, dug, bunched, and bagged by a remarkable set of machines in mass. Places like concentrated animal feed lots have sprung up to feed cattle on small farms, and over hundreds of acres of dirt lots in places.
What’s different about my farm is that while we have a feedlot that we use in the winter, we also keep our cattle on pasture most of the year. My feedlot serves as a gathering place as cows would not wait around for us to handle each one individually. So they can be gathered, and held in a large pen, we call a feedlot, or lot. It also serves as a place for animals to take refuge from the wind and inclement weather we get some days.
Building on tradition, we do things in such a way that allows our animals to be themselves, to act in a natural way, and be the most content.
One way I am non-traditional is that I do not do as many producers do, we do not calve our cows in January-April. Our weather here in MN is much too unpredictable and like this year, can be down right harsh. Those practices are in my opinion inhumane, and unnecessary. Working in sync with nature, while there is a level of convenience to consider, when common sense is considered, it all seems to work out. Let the cows do their job, and make my job as their herdsperson a lot easier too.