Cattle Baroness

City girl learning the country life–

OK, so I’m not exactly new to the country, but neither am I an old hand at being a “dirt” farmer. I plan to share my learning experiences with you: my failures, my triumphs, and occasionally things that may tickle you. For example, a couple of days ago Mike, that’s my fiance who’s been farming since birth, thought I could learn to disk a field in preparation for sowing a pasture. Now, I’ve been driving since I was sixteen and well, since I am now a “woman of a certain age”…that is somewhere between child-bearing and senility…I thought, “piece of cake!” Guess again. I discovered that someone deliberately built tractors to operate WRONG. Throttle up doesn’t mean go faster, it means slow down…I think. And to raise the disk you push back on the lever not forward (unless the next time he hooks it up he reverses the hydraulic hoses). That was a problem, ’cause when you want to make a turn, you really ought to slow down– right? So there I am, sitting atop a John Deere and thinking how nice it was for them to paint it to match the wild vegetation we were destroying and I need to make a turn to go back the way I came. Of course, you don’t exactly go back the way you came…oh, no!…you have to do this little race-track of a move, skipping part of the field first…but I digress.. The tractor is going at full speed, which when you are trying to figure out which level to pull when and which direction seems like 90 mph (in fact, I think I was doing about 2, yes, two, mph), so what do I do? What any driver does, I hit the brake and began my right turn. Now, Mike NEGLECTED to inform me that tractors have TWO brake pedals. I hit the one my short little legs could reach, you know, the left one…uh-uh…that’s if you are making a left turn, but I was going right, going too fast, and had just enough room for a tight turn. I missed the creek, barely. We stopped the tractor and with tears in my eyes, I looked at the man I’m going to marry for comfort, encouragement, or assurance and met his baby-blues also welling up because he was laughing so hard he almost fell off the tractor after we stopped! Now, far be if for me, a mere city girl to notice, but I have to wonder if in ‘redneck speak’ it is polite to laugh until you cry at the ineptitude of a beginning tractor driver.  Hmmmm.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…this city girl just bought some cows…in farm language they are Charolais feeder calves, a bull and a heifer. They are sooooo cute! Of course, I named them Sam and Diane (I’m sure Donelson and Sawyer won’t mind). But now I’m wondering about the ‘redneck speak’ thing again. Had a farmer come by today to see them and Mike’s herd. Is it okay to laugh at loud because they have names instead of those little ear tag thingies with numbers on them?

About cattlebaroness

I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a BA in History, nearing completion of a Master of Arts in American history. Born and raised first on military bases around the world, then in Orange County, CA, I moved to Kentucky when my children were small. I now live on a small family farm and am learning about farm life, planting and our newest addition to the landscape--cattle. Until a month or two ago, all I knew about 'cows' were that they came in brown, black and white and that some are raised for milk and others for meat. I am a quick study out of necessity.
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