Day at the Cattle Auction


Sweet tea, cheese burgers, and pie. Just a few of the good foods found at the cattle auction. My childhood memories are filled with trip to the cattle auction with cull cows, taking a few and trading for a few to bring back home. I remember well struggling to stay awake just to watch a few calves go through the ring that I had raised on the bottle and fed up to 400 pounds or so. Now I know how my dad felt when he had to make those long drives home while I slept comfortably to the hum of the tires on the highway.

Can you belive it’s already June?!? Where have the first 5 months of the year gone? Yesterday I took a few barren heifers to the barn from the ranch. With daytime temps already reaching the mid-90s, it’s not such a bad way to spend the day. The guys have started hay season and I’m staying busy keeping cows on fresh grass. I got out extra early to get my chores done and all of the cattle checked before loading up and heading out for the hour and a half long drive. Arrived just in time to show the heifers to my dad and eat dinner (perfect timing!). We had good ole bbq beef sandwiches with all the trimmings and good sweet tea. That’s when it was time for me to set up in the stands and attempt a nap during the calf sale and watch dad work the ring.

Note: Barren not Baron.

Barren means something not capable of producing offspring.

Baron is some of great power or influence. Like the great cattle barons of the past (i.e. Charles Goodnight or John Chisum)

Pistol made the trip with me. She does really well on long trips. Just stretches out in the back seat and sleeps the whole way. After we went out in the pasture and checked on Katie (who’s adjusting to pasture life after being diagnosed with navicular problems) she got to entertain the ladies in the office. Thought I’d be nice and let her stay in there rather than camped out in the trailer with it being so hot. By the way, dad “loves” dogs indoors… but he never mentioned it if he noticed she was in there today.

The cattle markets have been all over the place this last year. Between drought conditions slimming cow herds and an increased global market for American beef we are in uncharted territory with cattle prices, despite markets slipping the past few weeks. After watching the heifers sale, I gathered my check and headed home. I normally stay and eat supper with dad and see if any neighbors need some cattle hauled back my way, but this heat’s been wearing on me and it’s kinda nice to make it back home before dark.

On the highway I noticed this billboard advertising for the Arkansas Beef Council. They’ve dotted a few of these across the state, raising awareness of affordable and nutitious beef for the summer grilling season. It’s nice to see the beef boards among the dairy, soybean, and rice advertisements on Arkansas highways. If you pay much attention you’ll see Agriculture promotion along many stretches of the state.

Today it’ll be back to taking care of the cattle, fixing fence, and maybe the guys will let me in on some of the hay harvest… They are kinda partial to their time on the tractor. I’m sure I’ll get my fill soon enough.

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