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March 5, 2021 - Chewing the Cud

I don't know about you, but I am a little tired of living through events of historic proportion! I genuinely pray those of you who calved in the -40 degree weather were able to save your calves. I know it was truly a struggle for ranchers nationwide.

I belong to several women rancher groups on various social media platforms and am reminded how truly lucky we are to be "Nebraska Strong." I watched as folks in southern states pleaded for help on how to warm their cold calves. I thought, "Everyone knows how to do that." But frankly, they have not experienced such extremely frigid temperatures. They asked for suggestions on how to wrap pipes properly and how to keep their waterers from freezing. (They've never dealt with frozen waterers! I'll let that sink in for a moment.)

After further thought on the subject, I've concluded that we are incredibly fortunate to deal with 100 plus degree temperature swings, 70 degrees one week and -40 degrees the next. (I know you're wondering if I've lost bear with me.)

Nebraskans as a whole can stand tall, knowing that we can deal with whatever extremes Mother Nature has to throw at us. We may come out looking a little frazzled on the other end, but we got through it! Whether it's 72 degrees below freezing or 25 degrees from proper smoker temperatures, we have dealt with it, and more importantly, our LIVESTOCK have dealt with it!

How often do we actually give our cows credit for living through epic temperature swings? Honestly, consider that she is living her best life in the elements 365 days a year dealing with the often hormonal Mother Nature. She gestates in cold temperatures, births in often freezing extremes, lactates and raises her calf in the hottest of summers, and continually breeds back despite it all (and if you fall calve, all of that in reverse). What a magnificent display of forced evolutionary hybrid vigor! All she asks for is some feed and water, salt and mineral, and a place to live. And she doesn't complain about wanting to sit on the sunny beaches in Florida!

I guess what I am trying to say is that Nebraskans, both of the Homosapien and bovine species, are incredibly adaptable, and that is truly something in which you should be proud! Keep proving to the rest of the world what "Nebraska Strong" really means!

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