It’s been just about the easiest winter we’ve come through in a long time. Other than the cold weather in December it’s been a breeze. The cows are fat, the calves wintered well and the hay stack has a handsome reserve. March started with temperatures in the plus range every day, and it’s felt so much like April the only thing missing was the honking of Canada geese.
We all know a new year starts in January, however other than changing the calendar I never get the feeling of a “new” year ’til we get into spring. I’m sure it is similar for many of you. I think it’s all about our biological wiring, the longer days, the anticipation of a new growing season, the birth of a new calf crop, and the optimism of a fresh start.
Like every spring, there is lots of anticipation on our ranch. Not only are we looking forward to our biggest crop ever of New Zealand-sired Pinebank Angus calves, we’re expecting a ton of visitors from all corners of our markets to come and see where their beef is coming from. And most of all we are excited about the birth of our fourth child in mid-May!
When Erika and I moved onto this ranch May 1, 2003, we had 60 cows, lots of energy and a ton of ideas. Now seven years later we are still full of energy, but continue our story with four Peace Countrybred and born rug rats that always find a way to put a smile on our faces even when we have had the worst of days.
This year also marks the fifth year I have been writing for Grainews/Cattleman’s Corner. I still remember when Gren Winslow called to ask if I would start writing a column on production-related topics shortly after I left Alberta Agriculture. I had always written articles while working in extension and I figured it would be a fun challenge. My columns started out on a production note, but over time and through my experiences I have learned we all have to look beyond production to make and see change in this industry.
Well, seeing it is spring and the start of a new season, I am letting you all know this will be my last Grainews column. It has been a fun ride, however between the countless things we have going on and a hectic schedule, I figured it was time for a change. I have been asked many times how I keep it up and find new things to write about. Well, for the most part it is not too hard, writing for me has been therapeutic and a way to expand on how I look at things. It’s a process for me to digest what I have seen, been told and heard. I know many have thought my writing style is too direct and/or to brash, however I live by a policy that is easier to tell the truth because you never have to think twice about what you said.
I have really enjoyed being able to write and give you the Spirited View perspective and I hope my thoughts have changed or somewhat impacted the way you approach your business and daily lives. Grainews has been a great experience, but it’s time to end this chapter and start a new one. Starting next month I will be back writing for Gren, but this time in Canadian Cattlemen magazine and I look forward to this opportunity. It will be a fun change with an expanded cattle producer audience and a more regular paced schedule. For those who do not get Cattlemen magazine I will post my columns on our website and invite you to download them from there. I thank everyone who has written to me over the years and would like to wish you all the best in the coming season. Stay in touch, and all the best.
Dr. Christoph E. Weder is a purebred Angus breeder in the Peace region of Alberta and also runs SVR Ranch Consulting. He is also a founding member of Prairie Heritage Beef Producers For additional info check out www.spiritviewranch.com