Summer Hotdish

I’ve said my columns are sometimes well-planned meals and sometimes
hastily-prepared hotdish. I hope you like hotdish.

First off, the benefit for my brother, Steve Nelson, went great. The
benefit was held last Sunday at the Viking school. I have attended
several epic intramural basketball clashes between the Viking
Trotters and the Newfolden Dragons at this same elementary gymnasium
and attendance for these matches would not even come close to the
number who came to support Steve. Small towns may be small in size
but massive in heart. I think one incredible fact of the benefit is
that fully 1/3 of the class of 1975 came to support their one of
their own. My unofficial estimate is that we served sloppy joes to
approximately 550 people. We are so thankful to those who gave
support to this benefit-words fall short.

The second item I plan throw into the mix is a recent purchase. I
walked into Quality Farm Supply the other day and was offered a new
cattle gadget. I like gadgets but can typically resist them but when
you justify the gadget with application to cattle, my resistance is
futile. The “Vetgun” is basically a paintball gun that shoots
extra-large balls of insecticide at your cattle. The insecticide
lasts about 3-6 weeks and leaves a colored dot to show which animals
are protected. It delivers the insecticide ball at fairly slow speed
as not to hurt the animal from a distance of 15-30 feet. I think most
cattle people hate handling their animals because it is stressful for
everyone-even if you have a good corral. With the “Vetgun,” I can
just wander amongst the cattle and deliver 3-6 weeks of fly
resistance. Plus, and let’s be honest about this, it’s kind of fun.

I have spent the last several years working toward a goal of comfort
for my cattle. Comfortable cattle are more productive however I would
want them comfortable whether it makes money or not. This week my
efforts should really pay-off. A few years back, we installed a water
delivery system that provides cold water at a minimal walking
distance. Last winter, I built portable shade structures so that our
cattle could stay on pasture during the summer’s heat yet stay
comfortable. Our use of fly predators has greatly reduced horn flies
and my hope is that the use of my “Vetgun” will be a further
reduction in the insects that bother cattle. As summer returns with
heat and humidity, you might feel it is just plain hot. I hope that I
will bask in the warmth of happy cows and a plan that has truly
worked out.

My words were pretty simple fare this week; I like to keep my columns
easy to digest in this heat. They’ll probably go down a little
easier than those corn dogs and jalapeno poppers from the fair.

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