Hey y’all! Miss Allison Harvey has been hard at work the past few weeks, but she seems to be learning so much. She says that “…the country believes in the romance of the West,” and she is quickly learning that this may not be entirely true. Allison shared her experience from the past week with us, check it out below! 

Week in Review:

We started out the week with vet work at a local ranch.  We had to supply a health certificate for the herd so the rancher was able to sell some head.  I helped write down the ear tag numbers and the cow descriptions.

On Tuesday we helped out at a ranch with a larger docking process.  Rather than having just 5 people working we had 14 working, it was interesting to see the process at a bigger scale.

Throughout the week, we started sorting off the dry cows to sell.  I brought up the group of dry cows that we had sorted off earlier to the front lot.  Later in the week we separated off four dry cows from the cow calf pairs and added them to the herd of dry cows.  Then we pregnant checked the dry cows, and separated off the ones that were still pregnant.

We rounded out the week with setting up the rest of the temporary fence for the steer grazing rotation.  We’re dividing a large pasture into quadrants for rotational grazing.  We put in posts.  We wound up the wire from an existing temporary pen and rolled it out to set up this one.

I also helped collect plant samples for a research experiment on cheat grass through the WY Extension.  We categorized plant species along a transect and within a quadrant. The experiment was about establishing thresholds on cheat grass management- a lower threshold for where cheat grass has no effect on grazing and a higher threshold for where reclamation needs to occur.

What I learned:

I learned how to ‘pregnant check’ a cow when we checked the heifers.

I learned about how much of an issue cheat grass is and how it’s currently managed.

Reflection:

I said earlier how farming and ranching are different in how they approach land management.  However, I’m realizing that they are very similar as well.  They both encounter fencing issues, broken waterers, sick livestock, and hard work.  I think a majority of the country believes in the romance of the West, where cowboys wrangle little doogies and ride bucking broncos.  While I feel an echo of that, I also recognize the reality of the tedious blood and sweat that goes into ranching.

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