Summer! It’s here. With all of its heat. Sweat. Trips to the creek. Trips to the hayfield. More sweat. Trips to the cattle pens. A good bit more sweat. Throw in a drippy popsicle here and there. That pretty much sums up our life on the farm from June to October.
We’re always glad to see the beginning of summer because our jobs change with the swing of the seasons. The cattle feeding tapers down in the springtime and we ramp up hay harvest during the summer months. It’s nice to swap the jobs up a bit.
For some of us, this is a very exciting time of year. Especially if you’re a fifth generation farmer who is enjoying his very first summer operating a tractor. Our boy Titus has been trained and has earned his tractor operating license. Valid only on Peek Farms. Like most boys would be, he’s thrilled and feels like he is living out his dream. I smile to myself as he heads out to work most mornings with his Daddy. He always has his little lunch box packed and is ready to go. Our young apprentice is doing an excellent job.
In between hayfield sessions, we work the cattle. We try to do this on the cool, rainy days. It’s easier on the cattle. And more pleasant for us. Calves that are old enough to be weaned get removed from the pasture and turned out into the fields where we group and wean our feeder calves. Young calves are steered (when applicable), documented, tagged and returned to the cows. It is a process that is repeated, many times, throughout the year. Usually, working cattle is a job that provides us with a welcome break from our hayfield routine. We’ve also been fortunate to have some extra help from our teenage nieces recently. The girls enjoy the job and we sure enjoy their help!
We can’t work all the time. And what better way to take a break than to cool off in the creek? Our boys love swimming, kayaking, and exploring. Sweet summertime memories are being made, one afternoon at a time.
The longer days also give us ample opportunity to admire the ever changing skies. Maybe all the sweat is worth it after all.