Young Farming Champion Katherine Bain is blogging from Canada. Here is the latest in her Cowgirl Experience
This past month in Canada has seen the weather warm up, and cool down again, and lots going on at Dane Ranch! Calving is now finished, and all the cows are now being put out on to range.
A lot of the work now is being done on horses, which I am really enjoying. The main horse I’ve been riding is a black gelding by the name of Smokey. He’s a cool character and knows his way through trees a lot better than me!
The biggest part of May was Branding. Branding is a big affair, with friends and family coming in to help out. Over two days we branded, vaccinated and recorded close to 800 calves! The branding was all done with horses, which was very exciting to watch. All the cows are branded so they are easily identifiable when they are out on range, so everyone knows which cows belong to who.
It hasn’t all been work. I also got a chance to drive around some of the beautiful lakes in the area. Because there had been so much snow over Winter, all the lakes and rivers were full (and sometimes overflowing). The views from the lakes were breathtaking, especially with the snow-covered mountains in the background. It’s definitely a scene you don’t get back in Australia.
Moving the cows out on to range is a big process. There are three ranges that the cows are moved to over summer. The biggest range is at the Dane Ranch, as well as a smaller range where the purebred cattle go. The other range is about an hour away at the other Ranch, near Anaheim Lake, which is called Clesspocket. The cows, and the replacement heifers go up to the Clesspocket range on a truck, and then pushed out to the grassy meadows with the horses.
Other duties we’ve been doing are very similar to back home. A lot of fencing has been done to mostly help keep young bulls in. They mostly use logs here to build what they call Snake Fences. Luckily there are lots of trees that fall down, so all we have to do is cut them to size put them on!
I’ve only got one more month left working on the ranch – how time flies when you’re having fun (and working hard)! I’m looking forward to riding up on the ranges, making sure all the cattle stay in the right area and stay where there’s lots of grass.