A Cowboy’s Faith: Thankful for ‘the help’ – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Thankful for ‘the help’

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Most jobs require extra workers to get the task completed more efficiently.”

That was proven when the spring going-to-grass crew arrived at dawn.

Ranch yard and country road were overflowing with pickups and trailers. Four handfuls of men, women, and the younger generation had a dozen horses and a half dozen mechanical carts.

Gate to the pasture was opened as workers sifted through, spreading to the west where black cattle speckled the skyline.

Ranch manager’s orders were direct to his helpers gathering a large herd of momma cows with their spring calves. Within a short while, cattle were coming from every direction as the herd started accumulating.

The morning was a bit cool with horses acting frisky, prancing about, and throwing heads into the air. Just when most of the cattle were topping the ridge, one big mare started pitching.

Bets of observing coworkers were on the rider, who gave it all before landing in a heap unhurt. Another rider returned the ornery mount as the worker bounced back in the saddle for the day’s work ahead.

It wasn’t long until the cows and tagalongs went into the barnyard corrals. Fun work was completed with only one mishap as every crew member took their special position.

Babies were separated from mommas and went down the lane through the chute first. Three younger cowboys were in charge of making sure one was always ready when the old timers called for it.

A calf cradle makes work easier than decades earlier when calves were roped, snubbed, and hand thrown to the ground. All calves have been ear tagged upon birth with left ear tag signifying heifer and right a bull.

All calves receive pesticide pour-on, insecticide tag, no less than two vaccinations, and bulls are made into steers. Calves are moved into one of six pens according to which pasture they’ll be spending the summer.

Shortly after noon, the crew stopped for a quick dinner and was soon at it moving cows through the chute. Each one got pesticide dope and vaccinations before sorted into the pen where her baby was waiting.

Just before dark, the herd had been redistributed to their specific pastures. The helpers slept well that night.

Reminded of Proverbs 22:29: “Skilled helpers are always in demand and don’t take a backseat to anyone.”


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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