Oh, October- what a fun time of year! It has been a fun month to say the least. The weather has beautiful, and while the grass is still lush and green at the ranch you can tell that fall is in full swing as the leaves are starting to change color, daylight is going faster, and winter is on the way. It’s a pretty good time to be a White-Face cow, too. Not much going on- just lounging about enjoying the good weather and watching the calves play. Most CHB ranchers and farmers are making sure that there is enough winter forage to go around, and that supplementation of minerals and proteins is in place. There is nothing like trying to scramble in the middle of winter to find round bales and supplements, and feeling like you’ve been price gouged. I bet hay the business is the only business where the older the product gets the higher the price goes for in desperate times…well, that and the price of diesel. But we’re still cheaper than Europe!
So, as we’ve rolled through October we’ve made several trips buying coastal hay round bales, the rye grass has been planted on the winter pastures, and with a few blessed inches of rain it is starting to make a pretty good stand. Which, with everything slowing down for winter has given this guy some time to reflect! Watch out…that could always be dangerous. For instance, did you know Halloween in America was first started as an autumn festival dating back to the Celtic and Roman ways of ending summer and honoring those who passed before us? Trick or treating developed from immigrants going door to door asking for food or money, and at one time in the early twentieth century there was a movement in America to take away all the superstitions and scariness of this fun holiday? Imagine- Halloween without stories of Ichabod Crane (I prefer the Disney version), bobbing for apples… (Traditionally women believed they could find their husband that way), or anything considered scary. Sounds like it would be a boring time to me! But, if you’re interested in more history about Halloween, then check out this website http://www.history.com/topics/halloween
And, on the subject of Halloween then another question arises, “Why are there not more cattle Halloween costumes?” Whether you want to be cute and cuddly, or big, bad, and scary there should be more cattle represented. Yes, we’ve all seen the cute little Holstein baby calf costumes, but really? Why not a big, bad, bucking Hereford bull costume that breathes fire with red eyes that light up? Maybe with a Darth Vader voice saying, “Gimme all your candy, Moo!” Now, we’re talking! Sure, science fiction provides plenty of material for Halloween every year, but why aren’t there any Walking Dead Zombie Cows? Or, how about the latest octo-mom dresses up her herd like the red eye cows in Johnny Cash’s Ghost Riders in the Sky song for trick or treating. That would be a scary bunch coming up the drive! Truth is always funnier, I say.
However you celebrate your Halloween, just remember to be nice and enjoy your neighbors company. Don’t forget to be courteous too! Maybe take a bag of candy to share with the homes you visit- Particularly if you’re one of those families like mine was, and grew up without any neighbors. On Halloween, we’d load up the pick-up and drive into the nearest neighborhood about 15 miles away and park on the street. Then, mom would get us out and get our costumes on and parade us up and down the neighborhood trick or treating and visiting with family friends. It was a lot of fun and some of the best family memories ever made were around this time of year, especially with a mother as great as ours who made all our own costumes, (but never a scary bull costume, lol) and all were great -except the year she made my little brother into the UT clock tower out of copy paper boxes and foil. I still remember his look of, “mom, what am I?” Maybe she didn’t have enough time that year, but there was still love in the process.
So, here’s to proposing “Happy Mooloween” this year! CHB hopes you and your families enjoy the changing of the season’s, the time spent with family, and the reward of a great harvest for all those that strive to bring us the best sources of food in the world!