Great Plains Cattle Feeders Photography – Day 1

Jun 29, 2015

I’ve had some good stuff up my sleeve for a long time, and I’m so excited to share it with you, starting today! While I’m busy getting married on the farm, moving to North Dakota and taking a trip to Hawaii, the month of July will be filled with my experiences working with the farmers, ranchers and feeders this spring. So here we go! Get ready for some awesome – because that’s exactly what these people are.

I spent 5 days in Texas in March. Day #1 was spent at North Star Dairy, which has already been blogged. Next up is Great Plains Cattle Feeders and various ranches across the state of Texas!

The cattle business is for the early-risers. Work starts before sunup.  The cattle business is for the early-risers. Work starts before sunup. It's peaceful. Nothing but cool air, animal noises and golden light.  It’s peaceful. Nothing but cool air, animal noises and golden light.

You're looking at the feed mill, where they store and mix up the cattle feed. And yes, that's the moon up there!  You’re looking at the feed mill, where they store and mix up the cattle feed. And yes, that’s the moon up there! Inside the feed mill, a tractor is loading a truck with feed.  Inside the feed mill, a tractor is loading a truck with feed. The truck then drives along the bunks, as feed pours out.  The truck then drives along the bunks, as feed pours out. It looks something like this.  It looks something like this. The cattle aren't actually as crowded into the pens as this photo shows. They just rushed the bunk, because like us, they like to eat. There's plenty of room for moving around in there. Think about all the people you see in the city; it's a little like that. Lots of them, but still room to go about your day.  The cattle aren’t actually as crowded into the pens as this photo shows. They just rushed the bunk, because like us, they like to eat. There’s plenty of room for moving around in there. Think about all the people you see in the city; it’s a little like that. Lots of them, but still room to go about your day.

Cowboys ride around and check on the cattle at least once a day, to make sure they all look healthy and are getting the care and attention they need.  Cowboys ride around and check on the cattle at least once a day, to make sure they all look healthy and are getting the care and attention they need. Love this one! Love this one! The man on the right’s name is Shelby. He manages the feedlot and multiple ranches, and he’s the one that showed us around all 3 days. Shelby’s the type of guy that leaves you walking away saying, “what a class act.” I found a lot of that in Texas and so enjoyed getting to know everyone there. And the man Shelby's talking to is Alfonso! Such a good-natured guy. Alfonso has been at the feedyard for 29 years, and Shelby says he couldn't run the feedyard without him.  And the man Shelby’s talking to is Alfonso! Such a good-natured guy. Alfonso has been at the feedyard for 29 years, and Shelby says he couldn’t run the feedyard without him. Next, I got to see the cattle getting loaded!  Next, I got to see the cattle getting loaded! I never realized how much strategy there would be in something like this. They move the cattle through the gates, weigh them, and have to get an exact number on the top of the truck and the bottom of the truck. When the cattle start loading, they just want to follow each other in. So, the cowboys have to use their horses to stop the cattle from loading when each section of the truck is full.  I never realized how much strategy there would be in something like this. They move the cattle through the gates, weigh them, and have to get an exact number on the top of the truck and the bottom of the truck. When the cattle start loading, they just want to follow each other in. So, the cowboys have to use their horses to stop the cattle from loading when each section of the truck is full.

Just look at that red dirt! This is the first ranch we visited, not far from the feedyard.  Just look at that red dirt! This is the first ranch we visited, not far from the feedyard. Here, they have Mexican cattle.  Here, they have Mexican cattle. Such curious animals!  Such curious animals! The cows spend most of their lives on pastures like this one. When they are ready to be “fed out” they go to the feedyard for 4-6 months before market.

This marks the end of day 1 with Great Plains Cattle Feeders and day 2 in Texas! 2 more days featuring the ranches of Texas coming up!  This marks the end of day 1 with Great Plains Cattle Feeders and day 2 in Texas! 2 more days featuring the ranches of Texas coming up!

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