Despite all of our hard work managing our God-given assets it is still a challenge because we are at the mercy of the uncontrollable, weather. When it doesn't rain it doesn't matter what you do there is no grass. Recently we went away for a week for our daughter's wedding. We left lush, green, beautiful pastures with happy cattle munching away and came back to find NOTHING, no grass in sight, it looked like someone had torched the place. In the short span of a week the place had just burned up. Luckily the pastures that we had shut off were ok, not a lot of growth, but green, the grazed fields were cinders. I stood gaping in awe because I just couldn't believe what could happen in just seven short days.
This is where the hard choices have to be made. Even though it was the beginning of September my husband and I knew we were going to have to start feeding hay. The cattle could be moved to a small pasture and fed hay while we waited for Mother Nature to bring us rain. When you don't have hay ground and have to spend exorbitant amounts of money buying hay each year it is a bitter pill to swallow, but plain and simple it is about survival. You do what you have to do in order to deal with the things you can't control. Having to make hard choices when faced with adversity is what ranching and farming is all about.
It took a leap of faith to use up some of our precious winter hay stores, but in the end it is about taking care of our animals whatever the cost. Happily God rewarded us with a lot of rain. The pastures came back lush and green for one more grazing round before winter and everything worked out this time. I say this time because I have learned that sometimes nature doesn't reward us when we need it but to survive we have to have faith in the big picture, as ranchers we do whatever it takes to feed our stock.
On our little patch of land I pray the grass is always greener!
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