S Lazy H

Listened to Corb Lund on “Working Cows Podcast” and as I am a big fan of his music, I am also a big fan of how he promotes the ranching lifestyle.

Working Cows has many interviews about how to keep this from happening and I am glad it’s available.  You should check it out.  Enjoy a little reality in this song.

 

Saturday Matinee

I hope you enjoy the Saturday music.  I like sharing what I like in music.

Today I’m going to do something a little different.  I listen to Tom Russel a lot and have for a long time.  I like how he’s always for the underdog.

I had heard this many times but it didn’t really make sense until Bill Dale sent me the link to “Terror in Tiny Town”.

So here’s the deal.  This is real life stuff that has a great humor to it.  There may be a little vulgarity in it but what do you expect from a midget that’s been shot out of a cannon?

So enjoy the Matinee and let me know what you think of it, or if you think what I find to be entertaining to be way out there and offensive.

 

Saturday Auction music

Today I am back in my old home of Helena, Montana at the Lewis and Clark county 4-H livestock auction.  I’ll get to work with my Brothers and the Swicegoods from Way back east.  It’s the only sale I sell and I really enjoy it.

I’ll see lots of old friends and go to Last Chance Stampede rodeo and spend the night with my Mother.  I really look forward to the day, and this song is a great way to share the spirit of the live auction, and what I believe to be true price discovery, and the skill of a good auctioneer is such a big part of this great livestock industry that I am a part of.

Saturday Bronc riding music

Wife Tammy joined me in Alberta and we are spending the weekend at the Nanton Ranch Rodeo.  Friday night was a Ranch Bronc riding and music after.

Nanton is in the heart of Alberta cowboy country and we got to visit with lots of old friends and made some new ones and it felt good to be around such good people.

The broncs bucked and the guys were real sticky and rode good.  Matt Robertson rides broncs really good, makes nice riding horses and can rope, and I admire his skills as a cowboy.  He has an added skill of playing the guitar real good and singing songs that fit his lifestyle.  “Them Broncs” fits just right for the Saturday song.

From Carne Asada to Candy Salmon

Quite a different dynamic coming from Baja California, Mexico to British Columbia, Canada.  Language, food, culture and purpose of animals I dealt with we very different.

The veterinarians I worked for were very much the same as the veterinarios I was with in Mexico.  Herman and  Doug (can’t spell either ones last name) both worked hard long hours and were dedicated to the well being of horses and the people that own them.

The main difference was the purpose and the way the animals were handled and the way the animals handled the people.

In Mexico the purpose of the animals was to make a living from. In BC, the animals were a way to spend money from another source of income.

This creates a whole different situation on how the horses are cared for, how the people handle them, and the rewards they receive from them.

From what I observed, for some of the people I met the horse brought a lot of pleasure, and for some lots of fear, frustration and money spending.  It all depended on the attitude and how well they were matched up to the horse and what they were trying to do.

I don’t know if I helped anyone or not.  I gave them things to think about and try.

I don’t really understand that world and probably never will, so I feel I am better off working with the for profit mindset like Mexico, and leave the for emotion mindset to the people that understand it or want to profit from it.

I really enjoyed the horses I got to work with.  At the first Clinic in Abbotsford we rode the first day in a clinic setting, and the second day I did demonstrations all day from working with baby’s to halter break and an older horse that had some problems and trailer loading issues.

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The next clinic was at Nanaimo on Vancouver island.  We had a two hour ferry ride to and from.  It was a new adventure and I sure enjoyed the ride. 

 

The horses were a little different acting than I am used to, but I really had a nice little bay gelding that I got to ride and made some changes that I was real proud of.  Some folks were interested in the change, and some folks didn’t see it.  I love the horsemanship part of it.

 

We had a nice evening with real nice people and had some good food.  They served some “candied salmon” and strawberries grown on the place.  Real good eating.  The raccoon was good as well.

Gord Collier has been a friend for a long time.  He, just like the hosts in Mexico treated me like a king in food and hotel accommodations.  (He could of been a lot nicer to me, and maybe shared a few more of his opinions on politics and climate change, as I’m still not sure which side of the isle he’s on). We had lots of fun, worked hard promoting good animal husbandry, Zoetis and the Western lifestyle.

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I really enjoyed the time.  I really have to work hard on my proper pressure with people.  The animals are easy, but learning how to accept and deliver the best pressure for people is a very important part of my job, and I want to get real good at it.  It’s not always easy.

I am now headed to Alberta, Canada to meet up with Shawn Wilson of Zoetis and we will work in  Alberta in the for profit (hopefully)cattle world for the week. We will see if there is anything interesting to report.

A day late-on Mexican Time

I have been working hard on my learning Spanish this year.  I listen to Vincente Fernandez a lot.  This song is about a mountain that overlooks and protects Mexi-Cali, Baja California Mexico the town I worked at last week. Enjoy the Fiesta!

Crossing Borders

After ten days home I am back on the cattle handling trail.  I just finished two days of work in Mexicali, Baja California for Zoetis Mexico at Bona Prime feedyard and slaughter facility.

It was “muy caliente” so we started at 4 in the morning and were pretty well done by noon because of the heat.  I learned lots about Mexican culture and was able to share lots of ideas on improved cattle handling and animal husbandry.  I enjoy Mexico and the great people I get to be around in the cattle feeding business.  

Communication is so important.  Zoetis hires Lulu, an interpreter and she has head sets for everyone and as I speak she translates.  We spoke about it and she said it is a skill she has that is very difficult for many people as it takes to long to change in the mind for most people, but she can just hear it in English and say it in Spanish, so the timing and flow is right.  It really makes the communication effective.  When I present and the translator has to speak and I have to wait, it really messes up the flow and it becomes a very ineffective presentation.  It is the same as communication with animals, the flow and pressure has to be right.

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The cattle are so fun to work.  Most had quite a bit of ear on them (Brahman) and are very gentle.  They had a Bud Box at processing on the receiving side of the lot, and it worked very well (it was a little deep for my liking)to process the new arrivals, and they were very effective at around 100/hour and doing a good job.  In Mexico the big advantage they have is cheap labor so they have more people available to keep the flow of cattle coming.

On the other side of the feedyard they have a tub system.  They were re-implanting, so it was going very fast.  These cattle had 90 days more or less and worked differently than the fresh cattle.  It ended up being a real good spot to show how the proper pressure can change an animals state of mind.

They had two bulls that kept refusing and jumped out and were kind of on the fight.  I asked if I could work them.  I got in the alley with them and about five other bulls and would pressure them to turn around.  As soon as they would start one fella would start making noise  and moving and they would turn back and come to me.  I had to get him to stop, and then I got them to go and they went into the snake with the tub gate being open.  It was a real good example for everyone to see that letting the animal move away from pressure without increasing it could really change the way an animal reacts.  

 

This is the big thing that I think we all need to understand, and especially the people in Mexico.  They work very hard and the climate and lifestyle is very harsh so they have a hard time taking the pressure of sometimes.

The last animals we went to was the Holsteins, or as they call them “Pintos”.

They were steers, and it was hot by this time and they were all in the shade.

They said they were going to challenge me to get them out of the pen.  They also said they were very aggressive to people going in the pen.

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I have been around quite a few Holsteins in the past few years and feel I understand how to present my self to them.  If you walk in the pen and draw them to you they will take advantage of that and take control of you.  If you step in with lots of “presence” you will create a whole different working situation.  So I walked in and got the cattle up and looking at me.  Then I simply opened the gate and some had watched me.  They went right to the gate and I went to the middle of the pen and sent cattle to the movement going out the pen, and they pretty much pulled themselves.

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Well, I think they thought I got lucky so they asked for another pen, and they went easier than the first because they had more alley space.  It was great because now they got to see what I was trying to explain.  

It is so rewarding when the people and the cattle are so receptive to new ideas.

I got to help move cattle from the pens to the slaughter house.  “Victor” manages the horses and taking the cattle to the slaughter pens.  It was a very enjoyable time as he didn’t speak English and I had to communicate in Spanish and did ok.  He and the fella helping him were very good handlers and horseman.  I commented on a nice bit that had the shape of a heart on the shanks.  When I was getting ready to leave he sent the bit over and gave it to me.  I’ll treasure it and the kindness he and all the Mexican people showed me.

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Some interesting things I learned and saw.

They feed all bulls except the Holsteins.  They Mexican consumer doesn’t like fat, so they feed bulls for the Mexican market.  They feed heifers a different ration and target the export market with them with more of a finish and fat cover  like US fed beef.

At the slaughter house holding pens they had three lead steers.  They used them  to take cattle up to they abattoir.  They would step in behind the tub gate, then turn around and do it again.  They were very valuable to the operation and they were all very proud of them.

After conversations with the owner and managers, it seems the cattle feeding system in Mexico is very solid and a good business model.  I don’t think they have the futures market use like we do, so they buy cattle to make a profit on the true market, and they don’t overpay for feeder cattle like I see see happen in the US and Canada.

They spend money on things that make money.  The feed trucks were good and they had lots of them.  Getting feed to the cattle when they can eat is real important and the cattle eat at night because of the heat.

They had shade in all the pens made out of a local tree with leaves and branches weaved on top of wire.  When you went under it it was much cooler than when it was tin.  It allows the air to flow up and creates shade without the heat coming from the tin.

The cattle coming in were real green and had a lot of chance for compensatory gain.  They took real care at getting them on feed and fed real hi quality feed.

I think we sometimes think of Mexico as being very poor and primitive in the way they do things.  I don’t think that way after being there some.  They do things right in the cattle feeding sector and are making money doing it.

I felt very welcome and comfortable with Carlos the owner and all the managers and workers.  The cattle manager, Antonio was so gracious and helpful and really was interested in what we had to offer.  I feel like we will be amigos in the future want to continue the friendship.

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Check out the website and you will see what I mean.

Bonaprime.com

A big thank you to Priscila Castro for all her work and driving me to and from airport and her fun humor.  Zoetis has a good one with her.  We had lots of fun trying to learn to speak English and Spanish on the way to the airport.

The Zoetis Mexico group was great to work with and we had lots of fun and did lots of work.  Very good people that work hard for the company.

I met lots of good people and learned lots of good things, and hopefully I helped them with some ideas and techniques to improve what they do.

Now I am in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada for the next week and a half to work for Zoetis Canada.  I’ll let you know if I learn of any of interest.