Well it’s started. I’m Busy traveling! January was a good month of a little work and quite a bit of time home. Wife Tammy was off traveling and visiting and I had lots of time to work on improving my Spanish, physical health, and spending time in our cabin with just my dog and cats. It was a very nice time to reflect, learn and plan.
Tammy and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in Phoenix, and I’m sure some folks that watched our demos wondered why she put up with me so long.
I’ll keep working on that one.
So after NCBA convention I got home for a couple of days and headed north to Canada. It was real busy with lots of travel and lots of demos and talks. I was in Regina, Saskatchewan presenting at Saskatchewan Cattle feeders the first two days and then over to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to present at Ranch Management Forum.
Both really good events and spent time and visited with real good people all involved with production of beef. I heard some real wise and informative speakers as well.
I am working with Zoetis in Canada again this year, and Clarence Menegre is who I worked with. We went out to a cow calf customers that had contacted me earlier about helping with some problems with handling, and we met some neighbors and worked some cows through his bud box system. I will discuss that in another “scoop loop” in more detail. Good people and good meal makes for a much better morning than setting around a motel, even if it was colder than something on a monkey!
Had a late evening program then back to Regina, to fly back to Edmonton next morning, and the did a stockmanship presentation in Thorsby, Alberta. It was a real nice day, more good folks and a real good set up.
After I was finished, the person that set it up, and my ride to and from Airport, Kim Barkwell and I had a real nice conversation about lots of things involving agriculture and family. Stayed in Edmonton Saturday night and then up at 3:30 to get through customs and 6 am flight .
I made a lot of travel mistakes on this trip so far. As I left Ryegate the first morning, I was early and thought I would fill the car up with gas for my wife when she flew in to pick it up. Well as I reached in my pocket for my wallet, it was not there. No credit cards! That changed everything. No way I could make my flight after going home, and no way to travel with no credit cards. Luckily with the number of miles I fly, I can change flights for no cost. So I headed home, regrouped and flew out at 1:30 pm. The problem with that is I got into Edmonton at about 12:30pm and by the time I got through customs I new it would be real late and I had to be at airport for a early flight to Regina. So I booked a room at the hotel that is hooked onto the airport. My $100 dollar room at Holiday Inn just turned into a $250 three hour sleep at the Hyatt. So the credit card mistake, cost me a lot of money and sleep.
The next mistake I made was not knowing my schedule. I figured I would be done Friday afternoon, and I couldn’t find schedule online so I booked a flight back to Edmonton on Friday evening. Well the live portion of my demo was after supper from 7 to 9.
I thought I was going to have to rent a car and drive the 9 hours(all night) to Thorsby and but Kim found a flight on another airline that left the next morning a 6 am. That was great but it cost me an extra $350. I can’t expect the people that hire me to pay for my mistakes so I don’t charge for them. (In my younger days I would have driven to save the money).
The trouble is not only the money, but the lack of sleep and not being able to catch up.
After I was done in Canada, I flew back to Billings on Sunday and then got right back on the same plane, and headed to Reno to go work in Yerington, Nevada for a couple of day helping prepare bulls for the “Bulls for the 21rst Century sale.” (More on that in another throw of the old Scoop Lupe) This flight set up wasn’t a mistake, just bad timing as I had already booked the Canada flight, and had to start over to get good prices for the Reno flight.
The reason I’m telling you all this is I put myself through quite a bit of pressure because of my mistakes. I am a pretty seasoned traveler so I didn’t let it bother me, but I am much more tired and a little easier annoyed. I’m sure my immune system is having to work harder. I’m glad I take vitamins and am in good health or I could end up in the sick pen.
Thats my point of explaining all my mistakes. It creates more stress and cost money to fix them. This is putting human thought on animal care, but it is what happens to our livestock when we don’t prepare them and do things right.
Just like when Daughter Mesa hauls bucking bulls, the seasoned veterans can take it because they are used to the stress of travel, and don’t go off feed and water and learn to relax in different settings, and some even lay down and sleep on the trailer.
The young bulls that don’t have the experience that the more seasoned bulls often go off feed or don’t buck as good because of the stress.
I’m a pretty seasoned old bull. Traveling doesn’t bother me, but the easier and more prepared I am, the less money and sleep I lose (shrink for you livestock people)and the faster I recover when I get home.
This is why it is important to prepare your livestock, and set it up for them to have the best deal possible when you ship or move them. Try to see things from their point of view, and what would change for them and what you could do to prepare them for what they are going to go through. To do this you might have to really understand what they are comfortable with and what makes them uncomfortable.
I really felt good about my presentations, and I was very happy with the way I worked the cattle and horses in my presentations, so my mistakes we not paid for buy the buyers.(the folks I presented to and for)
Next loop I pitch out there at you will be about two real good learning experiences I had, one at a ranch in Moose Jaw working a Bud Box, and the other loading bull in the trailer with my friend Lucy Rechel.