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The Risks of Farming

Farming has its joys and farming has its risks. Occasionally those risks become sorrows, such as the time the Red Tail Hawk decimated two hens in the creek area, or when the fox peeled up the wire in the broiler pen and made off with more than 20 broilers just before harvest.

Annually, we seem to have beef cow risks. Last year was the only year that none died. Well, the other day, Craig found a rather large steer lying down in Field C, unable to get up. The Vet was confused as all joints seemed to be fine and no broken bones. If it had been a smaller heifer, we would have chalked it up to some big steer trying to ride her. But this is a big steer, ready to be butchered next year, except that Craig said he's actually big enough now for butchering.

The anti-inflammatory injections got the steer back on his feet after a couple of days, but it was only temporary. Figuring out how to transport him with the tractor is a challenge and another risk, a stress risk. If he dies, that's a big loss. Such are the risks of farming. And there's no insurance that will reimburse us for dead cattle unless they die from lightening. But we can write it off as income loss for tax purposes, which is not a big deal for us. We'd rather have the cost of the cow!

Life is a risk! We help others and get hurt. We slip on someone's step. We trip over a wire. The step breaks and bangs into our leg. The ladder falls. The nail gun slips. The gun backfires. We choke on a piece of meat. When we fall into trials, we've chosen to dictate joy to our lives and allow the trials to enhance our perseverance. Farming is no occupation for the weak and fragile temperament.

To finish the steer story: The anti-inflammatory injections got the steer up and he made it with the other steers to the front pasture, then finally to the corral--after falling down and resting a couple of times. So now he's ready for the butcher's pickup. At least we get some meat instead of seeing him rot in a compost pile.

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