Calving 2018 Highlights

Moments like these make me so proud of my husband and our lifestyle. I grew up loving row crops, and have always been passionate about agriculture. Being more exposed to the livestock side of production has only increased my affection for agriculture. The hard work that farm families are doing to feed the world is something that often goes unnoticed and underappreciated. There are long days with late nights and early mornings… and having livestock means you often have to drop everything you are doing to ensure your herd is healthy, happy and safe. Thanks to all the farmers and ranchers out there for putting in long hours to feed a world that is far removed from the lifestyle we live. And to those of you who don’t know a lot about where your food comes from, just ask!

Calving started extra early when little “Gisele” our Superbowl Sunday Calf arrived a few weeks early, very unexpectedly. Fortunately, Jordan and I were driving by the field where our cows were on cover crops for the winter and saw this little one’s mama isolated from the group. Jordan hopped on the four-wheeler driving through the 6-degree temperatures in his church clothes to see what was happening. He hauled the cold calf back to the safety of a warm shop and we did our best to warm her up and get her a bottle while we coordinated moving her and her mama into the barn. It took a few weeks of bottle feeding her to ensure she had healthy weight gain. She did come away with a little frostbite damage, but Gisele has grown into a very healthy, happy calf. *we did not get to watch the first half of the Super Bowl

This is a video of Jordan doing a late-night bottle feeding to our calf Gisele

Bottle Feeding Calf Gisele February 7, 2018 from Kelli on Vimeo.

Lick tubs like this one from Purina, helps provide our mamas with all the minerals and nutrients they need in their last-trimester.

Summer (our dog) is very nosy during calving season. The cows are rotated around to provide them the best places to eat in each season. During the Summer they are at our house to graze on the pastures, during late fall and early winter they are out on the cover crops (turnip/radish mix) in a field and then they come back to our house so we can keep a close eye on them during calving. Summer is always curious when the cows return to our house after being gone for 4-5 months.

Laying down bedding for the cows to ensure they have a dry place to rest.

Finally more calves started to arrive.


Any new babies that are born get moved into the protection of a barn with their mama, it’s still pretty cold out. But that means extra work, hauling water and food to each pen to make sure everybody has what they need each day.

Every time a cow starts showing signs of labor it’s important to keep an eye on her and make sure she safely delivers the calf in a timely manner. It’s always a relief when a calf is born and is able to stand up and eat on it’s own.

The calf in the picture above, and below was born with contracted tendons in his front legs. It means his legs would “knuckle over” so he couldn’t stand up straight or walk quite right. So we fed him a bottle because he was unable to reach the udders and needed to get colostrum quickly. Fortunately “Forrest” was able to eventually walk all on his own, and the condition repaired itself after going in and gently stretching out his legs each day. *thank you internet for helping provide a network to research conditions such as this in a timely manner

Each calf gets a close check up and is given an ear tag to help identify who is who after it’s born.

Most calves are skittish around people, but this one loved getting special attention.


Happy helpers doing chores after an Easter celebration! If you want to be the most fun Aunt and Uncle, buy some livestock so your nieces and nephews can come do chores. 🙂

Overall this calving season was very challenging, but we were fortunate that the majority of cows were able to calve with no issues. Our herd is now happy to be grazing out in the pasture.

Picking Pumpkins

I finally picked all my pumpkins! A rainy fall delayed the process a bit, and a few of my pumpkins have a little green on them but with the sun shining they will all be bright orange just in time for Halloween. It also gave me a chance to practice my self-timer settings on my camera.

 

Harvesting pumpkins is easily one of the best workouts of the year.

 

HAILEY Class of ’18

A week ago I had the opportunity to take Hailey’s Senior pics, and I had so much fun! I ended up editing into the late hours of the night after the shoot because I was so excited with the shots we got. I re-visited my editing and just finished these up! Here’s a sampler of some of my favs – enjoy!

PS – if you need senior photos taken, lemme know, I’d love to hear from you!

HAILEY – NBC CLASS OF 2018

natural sun flares in photos = ❤ ❤ ❤

Hats are so fancy, these pics make me want to book a trip to the Kentucky Derby!

 

Jag 18 Months

On Friday I got a text from my sister that said any ideas for Jagger’s 18 Month photos? As we went back and forth it was decided that an irrigation lane would be the perfect place for this little farm boy to take have his mini-photo sesh! It was a little bit hot Friday evening so naturally, we opened up a gate and let the farm boy do what farm boys do – get a little muddy.

I love doing photo shoots of little ones, esp. on their own when they personality can really shine! If you are interested in getting some photos done of your kiddos, contact me so we can chat.

Wicked Storm

Storm rolling onto farm place in Nebraska, cloudy colorful skies.

Storms are beautiful and unpredictable. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of a storm rolling in, temperatures changing, wind picking up; it’s a reminder that we are not in control. While I hate when a storm causes destruction to homes and fields, I can’t deny my love of rolling thunder and lightning strikes (and yes I love the Garth Brooks song too).

Storm rolling onto farm place in Nebraska, cloudy colorful skies.

My husband, cousin and a few of our friends were working on a project over at my parent’s shop so I went to check on the progress. All of a sudden the signs of a storm coming began and the clouds started to roll in.

Storm rolling onto farm place in Nebraska, cloudy colorful skies.

I hopped in my vehicle and sped rather quickly the 2 miles back to our house to grab my camera, and luckily caught some pretty powerful views of my parents home place when I headed back up over the hill. Luckily this storm didn’t cause much damage, and we only heard the sound of a few tiny pieces of hail hitting our windows.

 

The Good Life

Nights like these create the visual for why Nebraskans call it “The Good Life”. The sun is staying out later and more often than not we are blessed with a gorgeous sunset to end the day. It’s not a bad day when you can walk up the hill to check cows and get a view like this. I think a few more people in this world could use some nights like these. Peaceful and quiet providing the perfect place to reflect on this beautiful thing we call life.

Summer making her rounds checking that everybody is safe and sound.

The daily routine for the herd is being developed as of now they are coming into the yard about 3 times a day as far as I can tell. 7:50 AM, 1:00 PM and around 8:30 PM, so fun to see them develop these habits.

Lighting AKA: The Flash or Barry Allen. This little guy has a lot of names and I’ll save the explanation for another day.

#PLANT17

Just like every other year, #plant17 was a rushed effort to get the seed in the ground whenever an opportune moment presented itself. Cold weather and rainy days caused farmers this year to pace in their offices or drive around from field to field checking soil temps and moisture hoping they could make progress some way, some how. From what I’ve gathered people were in a similar situation all over the state – at least we didn’t get snow like our friends out West. So this year getting pictures was not easy, everybody in a hurry moving from field to field quickly, doing a trial runs here and there. But I chased down tractors when the sky took on the look of a beautiful backdrop and avoided the days filled with ghastly wind. Which really didn’t give me a lot to work with, but here they are my favorite captures from #plant17.

 

 

Storms a Comin’

Today was one of those days where you want rain to come, but it’s also dreaded hail season. So in these times the only thing you can do is say a prayer and hope for the best.

Dear Lord Baby Jesus keep the tiny crops safe tonight during the storms, Amen!

Big Wheels Keep On Turning

Farming isn’t just about spending time in the planter and the combine in the fall and spring. All the days in between are spent making sure conditions are ideal for growing a successful crop; including applicating herbicide to make sure those pesky weeds don’t take over the fields.