Letter to Dave

barnDear Dave,

This is going to have to be a quick note; life is busy. I guess life is always busy but I have a new deadline now and I am a creature of old deadlines.

The cattle are gone, Dave. I have been custom-grazing for the Peterson brothers all this summer. There is still grass and alfalfa to eat, however this is a time of the year when pasture needs to recuperate. The grass and legumes need to soak up the sun and send reserves down to the roots of the plant. If the cattle keep eating the plant, it constantly puts its energy to growing instead of preserving its roots for the winter. This, combined with a lack of rain, means pasture season is done here.

This is the transition part of the year, Dave. I identify pretty closely with the cattle but when they leave some of my own identity leaves. Fortunately, the sugar beet season is next. I can see all of my old buds and drink coffee while participating in the largest, coordinated harvest in North America. After that, it is just a matter of plowing snow and building stuff out in the shop. I guess I just move from one aspect of my identity the same as passing from season to season.

You told me that you went on a tractor tour or tractorcade with your Farmall 450. I heard you took the tractor to a steam threshers show out in North Dakota, I hope you got to do a little plowing while you were there. Everyone who has seen the picture of your tractor has been amazed at the work and I’m glad you can enjoy time with your new friend.

I was really happy to be nominated as “Conservationist of the Year” for Pennington County, Dave. I really enjoy the various practices which were part of my nomination. I remember how excited I was when I started building water tanks with “escapements” so that small animals could get out of the tank if they fell into the water. I was so happy the first time I saw my rotational grazing plan and thought how much fun it would be to move the cattle form paddock to paddock. Even a couple of winter’s ago, Bryan Steiger helped me build my shade structures and I was worried that maybe the cattle wouldn’t use them-but they have used them consistently. Anyway, Dave, I am proud but humble at such an award.

Well Dave, that’s about it around here. I have a new position at work which is a little demanding right now so I better go do the work. Tell everyone hello and I look forward to our next visit.
Your little bro’

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