So far it’s been a great week. Productive, fun, sunny -- aside from the little blizzard yesterday. We’ve been busy replacing broken boards and straightening gates in the corrals, getting them prepared for these next couple weeks when we’ll trail in all the cows, sort off and wean the calves, and ship some cattle off the ranch.
There’s two new interns on the Chico, Erica and Armando, who are getting into the swing of things. They’ve been doing the majority of the corral repair, and are now getting turned loose on fixing a lot of the barbed-wire fences around headquarters that need some attention. This morning Erica and Armando got to sit in on our grazing planning meeting, where we all got together and started planning the grazing for this next year, trying to figure out how to harvest Chico Basin’s forage in the most efficient, healthy, and productive manner, for both the cow and the grass. We’re trying to match the cow’s cyclic nutrient demands with the grasses and pastures that provide it accordingly (e.g. pastures that are upland prairie vs. riparian, predominantly cool season grasses vs. warm season). It’s a great time to grasp the big picture of the ranch, the livestock, and the people, and try to plan everything in the most beneficial way possible.
This afternoon, Duke Jr., Erica, Armando and I saddled our horses and rode out a couple miles from headquarters to gather a pasture. After trotting around awhile we finally found them, a group of yearlings we’re putting into a grass-finishing program we’re involved in, and began trailing them back to headquarters, so we can ship them to a neighbor’s pasture tomorrow. We got back right as the sun was going down, one of the more spectacular sunsets we’ve had in a while.