It does not matter what species that you are dealing with….if you are hoping something works, it always happens to the wrong one. If you are flushing does, the good one will strike out while the one that you just kind of decided to flush so that you had a full day, well that one will have big #s. If you are hoping to AI a set of cows…yeah, the best one will be the one that has the abcess on the outside of her uterus. It’s just kind of a Murphy’s Law part of raising livestock.
If you live south of Fargo, it doesn’t matter what you are doing, you will get caught. It was after dark and we needed a couple of bales of hay. I jumped on a tractor and headed down county roads to go 1 mile north of the house to get the hay. BUSTED! I couldn’t even steal my own hay without getting caught by the neighborhood watch patrol. Of course, Johnny is better than any cop. He catches you, interrogates you and then you go on your way after a couple of jokes. Of course, I’m pretty sure that he has a better aim and a quicker trigger finger if he doesn’t think a person is up to any good.
Today, we performed a task that I am beginning to think is a thing of the past. We “cut” hogs. Anymore, most show pigs are cut by a vet. Probably for good reason. However, I took my 4th hour class to the Ag Farm for a little hands on activities–freshmen to juniors. Most of the kids had never given a shot. Only a few had seen castration performed. But, they were willing to watch and learn. Several boys caught and held the hogs. I did the cutting. A crew of girls filled syringes and gave injections. Penicillin and two different vaccinations IM and a shot of Dectomax SubQ. Luckily, in this set of hogs, the spot and poland had been cut before purchase, so they just got vaccinated and wormed. That just left safer breeds to cut.
Shattuck is a rural town with an agricultural/oilfield economic base. This particular class has 20 kids in it. Not a one of them lives in a household with ag as their primary income. A couple have grandparents that farm/ranch full time. Only a handful of these students are “show kids”. Our country is getting farther away from actual ag production–not a new fact. I may not have accomplished much else today, but there are 20 kids that understand how and why we castrate animals. They also know how and why we give injections. We did it humanely and with the animals welfare at the forefront. It doesn’t matter what part of the country that we are in, we need to keep educating people about agriculture.
I’m sure that the day is coming when a licensed vet will have to be present to perform or supervise any “procedures” such as castrations, banding, disbudding, docking, ear notching and whatever else the lawmakers can think of. It really doesn’t matter but in the end it does REALLY matter. Kind of like the old “the more you know” commercials. We really need the general public to know why we do what we do.
The one thing that I did not do is cut the hogs by “the sign”. I normally like to follow the signs, but I checked and the signs weren’t going to fit my schedule. So, guess what we will be talking about in 4th hour tomorrow. Get out and teach somebody, something about what it is you do and why you do it. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it.