We're expecting

A neighbor's sunflower field Aug. 15. Fun fact: sunflower heads, before they get too heavy, track the sun during the day, i.e. they start out facing east and end up turning west.

Summer time in North Dakota: a love hate relationship in which the hate pulls a power trip on the love by complicating what could be a symbiotic cohabitation with insects, drought, thunderstorms, smoke and heat.

As summer draws to a close, we face an exciting time on the ranch. We will soon know who is pregnant and who is open (not pregnant).

On Monday, a veterinarian will come to the farm to complete pregnancy checks. Doing so allows us to know which animals conceived when they were artificially inseminated and which animals were bred in the pasture by a bull. This also allows us to zone in on each cow's due date. During calving, we bring groups of cows closer to the barn when their due date arrives.

Doug, Patrick and Paul drive alongside a group of cows as they trail them home from a rented pasture Aug. 15.

We will have help on hand in order to pregnancy check around 300 cows and first-calf heifers in 4-5 hours. But, before all the animals can be checked, they need to be brought home as they have been on pasture since spring. Trailing cows across country is a necessary task, so too is hauling groups of animals home when the pasture is too far away. We will also pregnancy check a group of cows in one of our pastures with a corral system.

Cows walk up a hill in order to trail home from a rented pasture Aug. 15.

Come the beginning of the work week, we will have oodles of upcoming births to celebrate. Nothing but pro-life on this farm.

A group of cows run towards home from one of our rented pastures Aug. 15.


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