We branded our calves a couple months ago, as we always do in preparation for turning them out in pastures that are farther from home. We invited more friends this time and we asked Nannie to help us make the meal for afterwards. She was so excited to cook for a big group again, she even sat through the whole event, with her sorting stick in hand just in case the cows or calves got too close.
Well, Miss Becca held it safe for a few moments. She especially liked having Nannie there.
We used our semi as a temporary fence for the branding pen, and it also offered some much appreciated shade to our crew.
Here are the tiniest helpers. There main job was to get off the cooler when someone needed a drink and to entertain Nannie.
We’re so grateful for all our cowboy friends who help with the roping, branding, vaccinating, and kid-wrangling.
Branding is always an adventure. It’s a lot of work crammed into the smallest time frame possible, to make it as painless and peaceful as possible for the animals, and it’s a lot of fun to work side by side with friends and family.
The sharing of the meal at the end of the day is the best part. I think this tradition has become my favorite part of being a ranch family. It reminds me of the best parts of this lifestyle, the honor and integrity of the work, the close connection with the land and its resources, the emphasis on family and working together, and the mixture of back-breaking, grueling work with good food and conversation to celebrate a job well-done, these are the elements that we treasure and cling to in times of difficulty. These are the traditions that tie us to agriculture in deep ways. These moments are why we slog through the awful jobs like fixing wheel lines (you can read about that here Fixing Wheel Lines) or repeatedly shoo the naughty cows back to their assigned pastures (you can read about that here Cows are Out).
We’re pretty lucky.