Above Photo: I had to post this picture of a new mama in our pasture. As you can see, she will be awarded “mother of the year”.  I personally think she’s a little too generous with her love. Can you imagine nursing your baby and all the babies in the neighborhood?  Totally an overachiever…but we’ll keep her!

My boys head back to school this week…summer has once again come and gone. Where, oh where, did it go? I say that about the farming season around this time of year too. It’s very easy to second guess yourself. Did we do enough? Were enough memories made? Could we have squeezed one more day or night a little harder? Was it enough fun for the family, or enough progress on the farm? I would say a bit of melancholy sets in. I’m not getting any younger, the kids are growing fast, the cows and tractors are one year older and that much closer to retirement. As much as I hate to see summer come to an end, it does make me embrace and appreciate the seasons that much more. The heat and humidity have taken its toll, cooler days and less stress at midday will be a welcome feel to the skin. The grasses will start to green back up and push out just a little bit more of that natural sugar for the livestock; one last bump of energy before winter. Seasons are a good thing and changes in the weather keep us farmers on our toes. Isn’t variety the spice of life? If so, the farm’s spice cupboard is busting at the seams and smells insanely good these days.

I’m not sure how many of you weekly readers have seen the news, but Monsanto lost the lawsuit in California centered around their flagship product Roundup (glyphosate). I’m not sure all the dust has settled (or ever will settle) but this could very well be the match that burned down the house of the chemical giant. Multiple class action lawsuits are dropping across the globe as we speak. Sri Lanka has filed on behalf of 25,000 farmers who died with chronic kidney failure. Others cases will follow and will likely win. Monsanto lied about their claims of safety and tried to cover it up. The people deserve their pound of flesh. I do wonder if this is why Monsanto sold to Bayer recently. Did they see this coming and needed to dissolve the company, rebrand, and hope the public soon forgets? Bayer isn’t much better. A quick look at their storied history and you’ll find they were cozy with the Nazis…enough said. It seems as though these two companies merging is a perfect marriage. I could write for a day about this topic, but I will just leave it here for now. If this is the first you have thought about Monsanto and Bayer, I hope that I have planted a seed of curiosity and you’ll Google them, look under that sinister hood, and see what you find.

Now that you’re either mad, scared, or depressed, let me turn that frown upside down and share another one of my funny little stories. So I’m up super early on Tuesday morning, both Ryan and Doug are on vacation so I drew the chore straw. I had to get the livestock fed, paperwork in order, and leave with the delivery truck for a long day of meetings and our usual customer drop. I was taking a bale of hay to the cows, and usually they all greet me with excitement and start munching away at the bale before I can finish cutting the wrap off of it. I have never had to worry about them seeing the open gate and heading into the “no-go zone”…until now. I was a good 20 yards from the gate when out of the corner of my eye I spotted one leaving the party, then three more followed the leader! I may have said a few choice words to the gods, jumped out of the skid loader, and galloped toward the gate. I don’t run much anymore these days post accident; my run has turned into a “modified trot”. I managed to keep the jailbreak to four inmates, and spooked the others back away from the open gate. In situations like this, it either goes one of two ways…they know they are naughty and return to their playground or they spread like leaves in the wind and you stand there defeated, frustrated, and grabbing your phone to call for backup. Well, they must have known I was on a tight schedule and had no time for reindeer games. I circled them, managed to round them up and slowly turned their attention away from true freedom, and they walked back to their herd. It seemed like they almost knew they were being naughty, that they had been busted, scolded, and sent back to their room to think about what they had done.

Before I sign off, I have to applaud the weather….absolute bliss!

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to cook some grass-fed beef.

Your Farmer,