This is what I wrote on the plane from British Columbia to North Carolina. I am not sure you will find it interesting but there are some thoughts on livestock and people so it might be worth the time. I feel real fortunate to get to “see the world and get paid” and like to share it with you if it is helpful and interesting.
I’ve had a busy 10 days. I flew to Vancouver and Gord Collier, Mr Zoetis of British Columbia, picked me up and we got to Williams lake at about 10 pm after a 5 hour drive, and we spent the next day at the livestock auction in Williams Lake for BC Livestock. They had three of their five auction markets represented and most everyone was very engaged in discussing and improving handling skills and safety. I really enjoy sharing ideas with people that work in the business of marketing livestock and I believe they have the most challenging livestock handling situations of any part of the industry. I try to let them do much of the talking to get them sharing ideas and frustrations. We have to provide solutions that replace what we take away from them, and we can’t expect them to keep the speed of commerce unless the facilities and livestock allow them to do it. A lame cow can only walk so fast.
This company gets it and are just trying to get better. I enjoyed the day very much.
We got back in the truck and headed South for another long drive to do a dairy program in Armstrong BC. My dairy and sushi expert, Melodie Chan gave a great presentation on health and care of dairy cows. We set up a neat pen in a barn at the fairgrounds. They brought in some yearling Holstein heifers and they were great to work with. Then they were supposed to have two dry cows that were halter broke but they weren’t. So I had my reata with me and caught one and showed how with pressure and release you can get an animal halter broke and we were able to demonstrate how to inject “Excede”, an antibiotic Zoetis provides, properly in the base of the ear. It was fun for me, the dairy farmers got to see and hear about good products Zoetis has to offer, and the veterinary company’s that sponsored it got to give their customers some real value. A win win for all. The only negative on the day was that We didn’t get to have sushi with Melodie. We had to get back to Kamloops BC to set up for the BC cattleman’s convention.
I’ve know Gord Collier for a long time. At first I thought he was a bad driver, but now I think he must be a good driver to have survived this long. He claims to be A.D.D., but I just think he’s an very opinionated, egomaniacal guy that has a nack for really make some woman mad. We were taking a back road and had to turn around because the road was washed out. Gord was rambling on about what he calls “Libtards” (he may not always be politically correct in the pickup) winning an election. We were driving along as he was on the rant and there was a pretty girl shooting baskets in shorts and a bathing top and without taking a breath, as he sees her he says , I need a new straw hat. I still don’t know how you go from politics to a straw hat by seeing a girl playing basketball, but now you understand my three weeks I just spent in the last 9 days.
We set up in the trade show that evening and had lots of good visits with cattleman.
British Columbia has a real good mix of beef producers and it’s fun to see and hear what they have to say.
Gord was at the Trade show in the morning and then we went and set up the arena for our demo the next day. Great arena and nice people to work with. Good set up. We went back and had steak supper and Gord was ringman at scholarship auction. A young man that I have know for a few years, Mathew McGillivray received a scholarship and I got to visit with him and his folks. Good people.
The next day they bussed folks out to the arena and Gord and I worked together for the demo. Nice heifers but they were real sticky and it was hard to get them to move to the crowd and in the pen. It was a good demonstration and I think people were happy with it. The folks that organized the convention did a great job and there was a nice mix of people in attendance.
Megan Clifton has gone to work for Zoetis in Alberta. She grew up in B.C. She came and helped Gord with the booth. What a great young lady. I really enjoyed watching how good she was with people. She was at the dairy program with us and was really intent on learning. She was very effective communicating with all different types of people and has a great sense of humor and a good work ethic. I’ve said it lots before, but the young lady’s of our industry are very important to the future of beef.
When we finished up we loaded the horses and headed back North to Williams lake and then to the Chilcotin to do a two day ranch clinic at the “Chilco Ranch”.
We had a good group of folks the first day and we worked on what I call horsemanship for stockmanship, then we went and worked with some replacement heifers in the afternoon. Real good day on a beautiful ranch, with good solid Canadian ranch folks. It doesn’t get any better.
Well I was wrong, it does get better. They had about 150 calves left to brand. We decided to include it as part of the learning experience. We gathered off a big meadow, sorted yearlings that had go mixed, and everyone worked together to get the pairs in the corrals, in kind of a tricky spot. Good horsemanship and stockmanship was the theme.
I have not got to brand calves for a couple of years so it was a great day for me. It is so great to see everyone working together and getting a tough job done and enjoy doing it. It is really what Ranching is about. Working together to get a job done to provide high quality beef at a profit and doing it right. This job really shows and compares the skills of the stockman and cowboys and buckaroos involved, and those who have dedicated themselves to improving the skills required really show. Roping, working the ground, proper BQA or Verified Beef practices, and working as a team are so important.
Wife Tammy was doing a clinic at the Gang Ranch, and they were about an hour away and border the Chilco, so they loaded up and came and watched for the day. Great bunch of lady’s from all over the US, and they got to see the real deal. It was real nice to have them, and they were very respectful and were never in the way. Larry and Bev Ramstad run the ” Gang ” and they are two of the best we have met in our travels. Dean Miller of the Chilco and Larry are two of the great stockman of BC and it made me a little nervous to work in front of them.
Finished up a good day and said our goodbyes. Great hospitality from Jordon and Crystal Grier and the rest of the Family of The Chilco Ranch.
Head south again much later than we wanted and Gord drove until 1:45 in the morning.
We were on the road again at 7:00 am and got to an arena in Abbotsford about 8:00.
If Gord was reading this I’m sure he’s not gotten this far, so I will tell you what I think.
He is the one of the most dedicated men to the beef industry and the products he represents for Zoetis that I know. He would do anything for anyone that needed help and gives lots away in his life. He’s a guy I’m real proud to call my friend.
We did a horse/cattle clinic for the next couple days with Herman Geertsema. We had a great group and it was fun to do. I was reminded how much people enjoy the things that horses bring to their lives. Great people, just like all the folks I had encountered in British Columbia. Herman and his family are very busy, very good people that benefited from and helped horses and people.
It was a jam packed time seeing people from lots of different parts of the horse and cattle world. “Animals Make Us Human” is the title of a book by Temple Grandin.
Cattle and horses in BC got me to see lots of good Canadian folks, and by golly I think she’s right. Speaking of Temple, I’m headed to North Carolina to do a program with her and we will visit about it next