A Cowboy’s Faith: The weather will change – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: The weather will change

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Farmers and ranchers are never satisfied with weather conditions.”

During record dry days, conversations are always about the severe need for moisture. Possible ways to provide water for livestock and home use are discussed as wells, streams, springs, and ponds go dry.

Hauling water is a major costly effort with thoughts about developing permanent relief by establishing rural water lines. While rural water meters could have been purchased decades earlier for a few hundred dollars, present water supplies were adequate.

With all expenses in an agricultural operation, another initial and monthly bill seemed an unnecessary added cost. Today, getting that same rural water line put in is a complex ordeal, considering time, paperwork, layout and construction.

Most significant though is the price tag, nearly a thousand times what it would have been initially. Still water is the most essential nutrient for people and livestock. They cannot live without it, making development of a perpetual clean water source essential regardless of the expenditure.

Government assistance programs are available in various forms to cover portions of water development expenses. Likewise, financial institutions realize the importance of water and generally cooperate with partial funding. In extreme cases, limited dispersal of farm property may be essential, or material goods required as capital to acquire the support.

Moisture has always come at some time even if far later than when desired or needed. That is a major relief to agriculturalists in general, but many continue complaining.

An early snowstorm that was said to provide about 10 percent moisture provided optimism for increasing supplies. Yet the snow was a “mess” to describe it most accurately. It was virtually impossible to see as the big flakes were falling and blowing. Varying from eight to 12 inches in depth, walking through the yard was difficult to nearly impossible. Feed trucks and tractors were challenged to get chores done for the cold hungry livestock.

Fortunately, warmer days followed, and the white stuff melted away as mud and ruts in roadways and pastures deepened. With feedstuffs already in short supply, there was considerable waste during the snow and aftermath mud.

No need to worry, the weather will change, the weatherman will be wrong, and complaining will continue.

Reminded of Job 37:10: “He orders the snow and rain, No one can escape the weather, it’s there.”

Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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