Have you ever seen the show, “The Last American Cowboy”?
Our family LOVED that show. Seriously. We watched every episode multiple times. Why? It was a picture of our life in a different environment. Cattlemen throughout the United States have the same chores to do, but the way we do them varies from place to place and state to state. The Last American Cowboy gave us a glimpse into the lives of 3 ranches in Montana. One ranch was a very traditional, do it all the way it’s been done for years kind of ranch. One was a very modern ranch with it’s own helicopter for checking cows. The third ranch was somewhere in the middle. If I had to put us in one of those three catagories, I’d say we’re in the middle. Some things we do a bit more traditional, some are more state of the art. No, we don’t ride horses to check cows. No, we don’t use a helicopter to check them either.
I would love to see RFD-TV or the Documentary channel run some sort of series on cattle farms/ranches throughout the U.S. I would love to see how farms in each state do things and how they differ from one another. Instead of a TV segment, I’ll give you a written report on the Bastian Farm in Missouri.
First thing most mornings the boys get up and do chores. They feed the show heifers, any bottle babies we might have, feedlot calves and bulls. Mike will sleep in most weekdays because he works until 11:30 pm at his job in town. After that they come in and get some breakfast. If I were a good mom, this would always be something warm and tasty that I had cooked from scratch for them. Truth is, many days it’s cold cereal or a fried egg. After breakfast Jesse heads off to his Ag Mechinization class at the public school for an hour. Mike’s up by the time Jesse gets home. This time of year, work with the weaned calves is the order of the day. By the time they’ve gotten some work in with them, it’s time for lunch. After lunch Jesse goes back to town for his Ag II class. We’ll start his homeschool classes in another week and that will fill much of his morning. He has most of the credits he needs for graduation, so it’s going to be an easy year. In the afternoons, we check cows for illness or calving. This is actually one of our easier seasons. We’re usually in the house for supper by 7 or 8 during the school year.
So, that’s a basic run down of our days. As soon as I’m able to get a new camera (mine got broken at a cattle show this summer) I’ll take a day to document a typical day for you (as if any day is typical).