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The ABCs of farm life

Feeling blessed and deeply rooted in tackling terminology this month.

So many words and phrases are circling in my brain. Some I know what to do with, others I haven’t figured out yet and am still vetting meanings and options.

To that end, just in time for graduation season, let’s review our ABCs. OK maybe just A through M. We’ve earned a free pass after surviving winter!

Antibiotics. Do I enjoy giving them to our animals? No. Do I think they are regulated so as to not appear in our meat or dairy products? Yes. Do I mind now having to go through a veterinarian to get them? No. Will I continue to use them because it’s humane? Yes.

Bird flu. While certainly not new, it’s just a constant threat that won’t seem to go away. Not just for our chicken flock, but in protecting the other species on our place as well. Wild birds are wild birds, and there’s not much I can do to keep them away. However, I can be careful going from our chickens to any other animal, or even to our house. Boots in the garage, no cross-contamination.

Constant threats of fire danger. Lots of wind, no humidity, so dry, so much worry.

Drought. I can’t make it rain, therefore I pray.

EID tags, mandatory or otherwise. Do I think this comes from a good and pure place, and could have very positive effects for the cattle industry? Yes. Can I also see why some sale barns and producers might have some heartburn? Yes.

FFA. Watching parts of Nebraska’s state convention last week as well as our son competing, admittedly brought tears to my eyes. Lots of good things happening there on so many levels.

Good golly there’s gobs of golf in our lives. To that end, mark June 1 on your calendar for The Beefmasters benefiting District 145 Beef in Schools at Crooked Creek Golf Club!

Hay now! No really, we’re in that short span of four to six weeks of feeding hay to our herd now that stalks are done and the pasture isn’t quite ready. Safe to say, the bovines are bored out of their gourds.

Ingenuity. From watching my son and his friends help a fellow FFA member move his tractor without turning it on, to my brother keeping Mother Nature’s elements out of his meat smoking shack, to me teaching my chickens appropriate places to lay eggs, ingenuity is alive and well in our industry.

January harvest. We have a bigger group of finished Wagyu headed to the locker in January, thus the prep work begins now. Additional labels need to be ordered, deposits taken on halves and quarters and transportation plans need to be made.

Krazy to be worrying about cattle rustlers. Apparently, the current market prices don’t bring out the best in some folks. Having spent decades diligently watching “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza,” and “The Virginian,” I know the answer lies in some handsome Hollywood type with a fake six shooter and some strategically placed ketchup. In the absence of that, cameras, dogs or the one mama cow everyone refers to as “Big Angry” might do.

Land pursuit is still on our radar. We’re in need of more pasture for the herd and we’d like it to not be hours away from us, but we still find the price per acre to be sky high and driving higher with each passing day. In addition, land is scarce. We’ve been working with Nebraska Land Link in hopes something might become available through their program. They match aspiring or beginning farmers and ranchers with retiring land owners who simply may not have the next generation to take over the operation. You can find more information on .

More gratitude. More humor, more fun, more hope, more faith. As I’m tackling some of the tricky A-M terminology above, I tend to lose some of these things, along with sleep.

“Focus on your priorities before your priorities lose focus on you.” – Sarah Leigh

The Rusty and Dixi Wellman family is deeply rooted in Nebraska, raising Wagyu cattle, Vizsla hunting dogs and chickens. They also co-run a nonprofit that puts local beef on thousands of school kids’ lunch plates, and love sharing their faith and passion for small towns, agriculture, rural living, small business owners, and servant leadership.