Letter to Dave

 

I just returned from a trip to see our brother, Darrel. Darrel is
repairing my old skid steer and very soon will have it in
working condition. Like most of my farm equipment, the skid steer
occupies that very axis of where machinery is too new to be antique
and too old to be of much worth. However it is mine and does the job
so Darrel is re-animating it at his shop.

During my excursion to Argyle, I noticed a feature common to many farm
fields in the area-miniature ring dikes. I’ve seen a few of them
around home, but even more as I traveled north. People are taking the
spoil from ditch cleaning and then building up little levees at the
perimeter of the lowest part of the field. I guess it wasn’t so bad
to have some wet spots a few years ago, however every little patch of
land must be productive now as inputs are so costly and commodities
are high; so much to lose and so much to gain.

It was nice to have you stop by last week-end. I really appreciate
the visit and the nice, intricate hay trolley which was included in
your visit. It will soon join its fellow retirees which hang from the
edge of our porch, Dave.

Lisa and I recently saw a report on the news that confirmed what
common sense dictates; we have made our children less able to protect
themselves from illness. The report told of a study being done that
already indicates the increased incidence of asthma in children is due in
part to the overuse of antibiotic soap. We have eliminated every
microbe in our houses to the point where a child’s immune system has
no opportunity to learn which microbe is harmful and which benign.
Instead, some children now simply react to much of what they breathe
as though it were a harmful invader. This reaction manifests itself as
asthma.

Pete Erickson and I stood in the entry to Fleet a few years ago and
talked about how eating a little dirt with your freshly picked
vegetables helped your immune system, this recent study agreed with us and
used our words almost to the letter. I’ve always known that cows pass
on their immunities through the milk they provide the calf. Those
immunities are fairly specific to the area in which they live because their bodies
learn the immunity by the intake of microbes which exist around their
home. I guess cattle are too smart to drench themselves in
antibacterial soap.

I do have a project on the horizon, Dave. I’ve always wanted a
crowding tub for cattle work. The only thing I lack is the capital to
accomplish this expensive task. I recently decided to use an old
grain bin instead. The sheets are perfectly circular and quite rugged
plus I can lay them out and mark the spots to dig holes for treated
posts to stabilize the structure. Like most of my projects, it will
be labor intense but I am better busy than not, and my brand of
unskilled labor comes fairly cheap.

You’re little bro’

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