Tue, 1 February 2022
Welcome to February everyone. A large percentage of our country will be getting started on the 2022 growing season this month. Of course this varies from region to region and zone to zone. Last Friday Hattie and I went out to Melba, Idaho for one of the best burgers you can find in Idaho at Cook's 2-Hole Bar. We were driving Autumm's 1997 Jeep Wrangler, so we decided to off road a little bit. There is a route you can take that takes you through the BLM land for a few miles.
On our route we were driving past the range cattle that eke out their living in the winter out on this barren, wind swept plateau that offers some dormant grass and forage from last summer. Right as we were getting back to pavement we saw a cow near the water tanks with a calf that was just a day or two old. It reminded me that the most legit of legit ranchers that we have here in Idaho run cattle on these rangelands all year round, and they start calving now in an effort to get those weaning weights up when they ship in the fall.
For us, here in Idaho, the next season begins with the earliest calves that come in January and February. Soon to follow will be ground preparation, input purchases and before you know it, planting. There are some parts of the U.S. that are way ahead of us, and there are other parts that will be a month behind us.
I think that true down time anymore is a myth, but if there is any downtime it certainly ends with the end of January. Your plans for the next growing season should be made, and you should be getting things into place right now for the rush that is coming. For me, I am marketing, contracting out cattle and pigs and procuring next winter's feed at this time of year. Here in Southwest Idaho we are almost there. Our high and low temperatures are about to get a little bit higher, our days are about to get noticeably longer and it won't be long until we have water in the canal out back. We are just about to put this winter behind us.
Before I sign off for today's Tuesday episode I want to give you all an update on a very early guest on this show. Baxter Black, the cowboy poet and veterinarian, was a very early guest on the Off-Farm Income Podcast. He appeared on episode #16. I thought it was really early in my podcasting career to request an interview with somebody like Baxter, but I did it anyway. To my thrill and surprise he came on the show. I am going to replay that episode on our Thursday episode this week.
I just read yesterday that Baxter is dealing with some health problems, and he has stopped writing his columns and doing the work that he loves to do so much. I also read an article, quoting his son-in-law, stating that he was on a modified hospice treatment with a home health professional coming to check on on him a couple times per week at his home.
Baxter is a great cowboy, agricultural advocate, a true gentleman and a very generous celebrity. I hope you will all keep him in your prayers and go watch some of his videos on Youtube or read some of his writings. I've made it easy for you as I've put my favorite video of him up in the show notes on today's episode. This was an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson when he recited this poem. It is true genius and hilarious, and I hope you will check it out.
More Places You Can Listen to Off-Farm Income And Matt Brechwald: