Livestock meeting at headquarters started day. We watched the drone video of gathering and sorting Mannys herd on Tuesday. It was an amazing way to see it and really showed what position did when gathering and showed how effective different styles of sorting worked. We had some real lively discussion, and Keoki Wood and I had the most lively. I really admire how passionate he is about the ranch and getting the most out of the crew. I even named a gate in the lead up at Wakii pens for him. It is always there to help, sometimes gets in the way and is a pain in the behind, but it would not work if it wasn’t there.
It was a good meeting and it did what Keoki, Jason, and I wanted in engaging everyone in talking and working on what will improve cattle handling. Manny Souza whose herd we worked really thought it out before work day, and set it up for the crew to learn from the drone video and work his cattle effectively.
After the meeting we were surprised with a breakfast at “Hawaii Style Cafe”. Great place to eat and we all laughed and had fun. I had “loco moco” which is a bed of rice ,brown gravy, two hamburger patties, two eggs covered in rich brown gravy. A real stick to your ribs breakfast. Brian and Isaak had Oxtail soup, and I am having it next time. If you are ever in Waimea, you need to go to Hawaii Style Cafe, but bring cash because they don’t take credit cards.
Time to get to work. Saddled our horses and Jason picked us up and. We met Brandon and Neal and we went and got some big finishing steers out of the neighbors. The grass is greener on the other side of the fence in Hawaii too.
Jason is in charge of the Grass finishing enterprise that Parker Ranch. This is a big reason they have us come over and spend time. They need these cattle gentle and handling proper to get the kind of performance they are looking for. The biggest challenge the Hawaii cattle industry has is marketing. They have to ship cattle to the mainland, and that is very expensive, or they can finish and sell on the island. The problem with that is harvest capacity. They have lots of demand, lots of cattle, but very limited harvest capacity. Even paradise has challenges, but Jason keeps working at it.
Went back to breaking pens, switched horses and headed to Isaak’s to turn calves out to pasture. I having been riding a horse for DeeDee Burtleman, who from what I can see is the one thing that keeps the whole livestock department at Parker Ranch together and working as a team, came up to help us, and see how her Munstah was doing.
I made a mistake putting the heifers out the gate into the pasture and the ended up going the wrong direction. I got that stopped, but then it put me out of position to get to the lead and they got movement and I couldn’t get them shut downs so they walked instead of grazed.
We then went and took the steers out. They had to be trailed for about a half mile to the gate through a pasture. I took them out of the pen and Tammy, Isaak and DeeDee toook the lead. They got them to the corner and held up without much trouble, and some things were learned about checking up movement before it gets started.
Just as I got there with the back of the steers, the heifers were coming around to the corner of the pasture so I went and got them stopped and held the up and got some of the movement out. They started grazing and stayed pretty good, but as soon as I left, they were on the move again. This is why it is so important to keep that movement checked up.
The steers we’re grazing happily and some were bedding down, so Isaak and I went and opens the gate and as the started through checked them up and stopped movement before it started the whole bunch grazed their way into the pasture and we stayed in front and kept the minds on grazing and not walking. That’s the key. If they pick their head up and start walking the whole bunch wants to walk and the forget about grazing and it is very difficult to change there mind back to grazing. This is why working with them to get them to hook on and slow the feet down and stop is so important when working with calves.
It was also nice that right where we placed them was some real nice grass and water was just in front of them.
It was real rewarding to look back as we rode over the hill and to see every calf with is head down grazing and a content as could be. Four days ago their world had been turned upside down. Every thing changed for them. The cow is gone, their diet is changed, they went from wide open space to confined in a pen, and intensive interaction with humans than ever before. We owe it to these wonderful creatures to do the best we can. This is why we do what we do. For these calves to go through this change in there life, and to expect them to stay healthy and content, we owe it to them and ourselves to get better at everything we do with them. As I looked at those calves and thought about how we helped them through the last four days, I feel good about what I do, the great people I get to work with, and the great industry we call Ranching.