Letter to Dave

Dear Dave,

It is now summer, I am now officially uncomfortable. I can always dress for the winter however it is impossible to dress comfortably for the summer. I guess I prefer to wear an air-conditioned house or car as my favorite summer outfit.

I guess I approach each season as a battle. Winter’s battle is snow removal and warmth, summer’s battle is mosquitoes and warmth. I have placed mosquito dunks in all standing water and and placed the bug zapper so I guess we are ready. I’ve got mowing now every four days until July when we can usually back it down to a weekly process.

Cattle are a big part of my summer and I am prepared there too. I have portable shade structures for the cattle and this year I am installing a cantilevered shade structure over the cattle chute, palpation cage and squeeze chute. I built the structure this winter over at Stieger’s then hauled it home in pieces where it awaits assembly.

The structure is four steels posts, each with an angled top. A cross-piece sits on top although it does not look like a “T.” The cross-piece is off-center with four feet to one side of the post and about 14 feet to the other. The fourteen feet reach out and above the work area while the opposing four feet are there to balance the overhang. I plan to tension a chain from a hook at the end of the four foot piece to the base. I will then connect the horizontal pieces with wooden purlins that will also support the shade fabric which will prevent sun but allow pass-through of rain. I have a mechanism planned so I can unroll the shade fabric for the summer and roll it up during the winter. It looks very similar to a truck box roll-tarp. This will prevent build-up of snow and potential collapse.

Hope all is well in Carrington, Dave. Carrington seems to be the spot where dry-land farming meets the sort of planting-harvest cycle typical of our area. We are never more than a few inches away from dust or mud and so I don’t pray for rain or pray for it to stop-I just let God use his own best judgment. Just a few weeks ago, it was too cold and too wet to plant; last week-end the dust was already starting to fly and it was 85 degrees.

I will soon have cattle, Dave. About ten years ago, I sold my own herd and started pasturing cattle for other people. It’s a single-serving portion of cattle that lasts about six months. It’s like being a cow grandpa, you get to have fun and enjoy raising cattle in the sunshine and then send them home for the winter with their parents. One of the best things I have ever done.

I look forward to our radio interviews, Dave-they are a consistent highlight to my week. I hope they are the same for you. Tell everyone hello,

your little bro’

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