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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Where's the beef!

A couple of days ago I went with my brother to haul a load of dry cows to Miles City (they have a sale every Tuesday). Well, for all you city folk, I want you to know there is a lot of work, dirt, banged up bodies, and manure behind the scenes to put hamburger on your table. Cows get nervous when they are in a corral, and start heading up the chute into the cattle trailer. When cows get nervous and upset they get pretty "soupy" (if you know what I mean). I was running around the trailer trying to help, and of course, there was warm, green liquid shooting out the holes in that trailer like it was coming through a high pressure hose. It got on my forehead, clothes and shoes. I think all city folk ought to have to experience "going green" at least once in their life! I especially think Al Gore ought to have a good dose of it.
Americans are so blessed to live in a country where ranchers put up with calving in zero degree weather, feeding during sub-zero temperatures; they get covered in cow sh__ on a regular basis, risk their own money to raise premium beef, and hope for enough profit to pay the bills with a little left over so they can go another year. Agriculture is one big gamble because the weather, the prices, and animal survival are not guaranteed. And because of the rancher, we all get to walk into a nice air conditioned market, and buy meat that is clean and already cut up. So, the next time you start to gripe about the price of beef, just thank the dear Lord above that you didn't have to wade through any "green soupy stuff," get kicked, pull a calf, or work in the heat or frost to get the meat to your table. When you think about how easy you have it, the price will seem pretty cheap.
The cows are heading for the chute! Cows are not the most cooperative creatures, and sometimes the old heifers need a little encouragement. This yellow stick is designed to help them decide to do what the rancher wants!
The old biddies are heading up into the truck. So far so good.
OOPS! We have a jam somewhere up here. Cowboys have to be acrobatic too! Bill is hanging on the back of the trailer trying to get them to move.
Now, Bill is trying to get the old girls to move on up so the others can have room for the ride. Careful Bill! Don't get your fingers smashed. It's too late--you already have the green stuff on you (thank God for coveralls and over boots).
After we unloaded we stayed for a little of the sale. The cows didn't sell before we had to leave, but here is a pen of bulls that sold. Average weight for them is 1390 lb. @ $51.00/hundred.
Yard horses waiting to go to work.
The US has the best beef, so go have a steak, and be thankful that you live in a country that has such cheap, clean, wholesome food--thanks to farmers and ranchers like Bill.


  1. AMEN!
    And nothing against Texas, but Montana has some of the best beef in the U.S., if you can get your hands on some. Ryan's Grocery and Processing Plant, in Jordan, ships beef anywhere.

    You got some really good pictures of the process. I can almost smell the sale barn. The funny thing is, that if you sit in the sale barn for as little as 10 minutes, when you leave and go shopping downtown, everyone takes a step back and says, "You in for the sale?" It's pretty pungent...

  2. What great pictures, Rosie! You did a fine job of getting the loading process down! I am so glad that you got to go with your brother. Your blogging is very interesting. Thanks for the encouragement to get "going."

    Beef, it's what's for dinner, as Bill would say...