Farm Picture Friday #54 – Small Packages

Farm Picture Friday #54 - Small Packages  COUNTRY LINKed

Last Saturday ended up being a pretty good day here on the farm.  At first I was not for sure how it was going to go.  You see the wind was blowing like crazy, it was cold and we had cattle to work.   Mama cows and baby calves all had to be brought in off the corn stalks they were enjoying eating so that they could be checked, vaccinated and poured.  I was not worried about the cattle at all.  We know to take our time and be careful with the ladies and they in turn are calm and easy to handle.  I was more worried about having three small helpers.  Three small helpers who were going to want to help, but because we still had (and have) corn to harvest, we were needing for things to go smooth which in turn makes things go quick.  In the end it was all because of three small helpers that we had such a good day.

The plan was to work the cows in the morning and then after lunch work the baby calves.  We had everyone moved through the chute and back together by 12:30!! (Just the right time to enjoy the chili that had been cooking in the crock-pot all morning.)  After working the cows, which our oldest, Wyatt, helped with, I gathered up the girls and told them it was their turn to help. Let me tell you, help they did!  I had a very proud farm mama moment when the girls got right in there and helped with the calves.  They were just the right size that the baby calves actually moved better for them then me and Gpa.  The kids walked behind the calves and gave a little push every now and then.  I wish I had a picture of all three of the kids helping, but I was lucky to get this shot of just Wyatt for today’s Farm Picture Friday.  Photography is not allowed when there are jobs that need done.  (Which means don’t have a camera in your hand when you are supposed to be working.)

Just goes to show you that sometimes the best help can come in small packages.

Blessings to you and all small packages,

Laurie – Country Link


Farm Picture Friday #37

FPF #37

Today’s Farm Picture Friday finishes up my daily posts for National Ag Day and Ag Week.  It has been fun this week having guest bloggers and I can not thank them enough for being on here.  Thank you Rebecca, Miriam and Kate!  Your posts were all wonderful.

This week has been about Agriculture and the people who work in the industry, but it takes everyone working together 365 days a year to have a safe and abundant food source.  So, thank you!  Thank you farmers, ranchers, consumers, scientists, cooks, truck drivers, store owners, teachers, equipment dealers, seed guys and so many others for all that you do for Agriculture.

As you can see in this weeks picture, the guys are slowly herding the cattle back to their pasture.  The calves will be weaned (taken off their mama’s milk) soon and we needed to give them their booster shots and castrate any calves we did not want to keep as bulls.  This is just one of the many things that happen year round on our farm.  The process of breeding, calving, weaning and the final step selling is one that takes everyone working together to make the “circle” complete.

For more blog posts regarding Ag Day 2014, click HERE.

Blessings to you and everyone who works together,

Laurie – Country Link





Farm Picture Friday #35

Farm Picture Friday #35Monday was a beautiful day!  The sun was out again and the kids played outside in just jackets for a change.  Tuesday the wind came back and the sky stayed dark.  Wednesday morning we woke up to snow.  YES more snow on the 12th day of March.  The wind pelted the snow against the trees, ground and this gate that leads into one of the cattle lots.  I had just gotten back from taking Tessa to school and like any obsessed photo mama, I had my camera in the car and stepped out of it to take a few pictures.  I took a picture of the gate and them moved in closer to really get the snow and lo and behold, there was a calf standing in just the right spot.  I am always amazed at the beauty in the simple things.

Blessings to you and to our hometown boys basketball team who are playing for the state championship,

Laurie – Country Link

Winter Coats

In winter things become colder.  Depending on where you live it may be a few degrees cooler during the day and cold at night.  Or, you may get snow, freezing temperatures and negative wind chills.  Where ever you may be when it does become winter, you do take some time and prepare for this season to come.

Farmers are always preparing for the next season.  Be it bailing hay in the summer to feed to livestock in the winter or harvesting crops in the fall to feed in the spring and summer.  There is always something to do and the work is there 365 days a year.

Livestock also prepare for winter.  In the fall as the nights and days get colder, they start to grow more hair and have a heavier coat. This keeps them warm, protected and safe.   When on last Friday we had a snow storm, I was able to be out in it and take pictures of the cattle in their nice warm Winter Coats.

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #29

FPF #29

Times to remember………………

Years from now when she looks back at this picture I hope she remembers feeding the bottle calf “Sally”.

I hope she remembers she learned the importance of taking care of something else and that “Sally” needed her.

I hope she remembers the way the calves hair felt and the slobbers that she would get on her coat.

I hope she remembers the sense of pride she felt, that at only four years old, she was able to feed a bottle calf by herself and that she was brave and not afraid.

I hope she remembers not only this time of her life on the farm, but all of the wonderful and rewarding things she did and that they made her the person she became.

For my hope is that she will look back at these remembered times and smile.  The smile that says, “What a blessing it was to grow up on a farm”.

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #27

FPF #27 - Mineral Time

As you have probably guessed by now, I love to take pictures.  I love capturing a moment, a feeling, an expression.  I love watching from the sidelines and taking pictures of the action and movement going on in front of me.  I love taking pictures of the Country Link Kids.  I love having friends and family who will let me take their picture and then seeing that picture displayed in their homes. But most of all I love capturing a special moment like today’s Farm Picture Friday.

This is E.  I was able to spend the afternoon with him and his family.  At the end of our time together, his Papa asked if I wanted to hop in the truck and go with them to feed mineral to the cows.  It was a perfect opportunity to capture those moments that I love, but was also a chance to give this wonderful family a picture that I hope will be cherished for years to come.

A big thank you to the G. Family for allowing me to spend some time with them this afternoon and for letting me use this picture for today’s Farm Picture Friday.

Blessings to you and all little cattlemen,

Laurie – Country Link

A Day of Labor

A day of laborEvery day tends to be a day of labor here on the farm.  Some days the laboring is very minimal and others days we go from dawn to dusk.   Monday was one of those days were it seemed we went from dawn to dusk.

The kids were excited to have a day off of school and I think were anticipating that they were going to get to take it easy.  They did, for a bit, then it was outside to get a jump on the day and work while it was cool.  (Monday the temps was only in the low 80’s.  A relief from the very hot days we were having.)

They set to work pulling weeds out of the yard.  Why?  Well, we finally got sidewalks at the first of May and had to add some dirt to make the yard level.  Since then we have been able to grow some grass, but mainly we have been successful growing weeds and not just any weeds, the kind that get tall and have thorns.  OUCH!  So with gloves on, the kids started working, and then they got a call.

A day of labor 2

Gpa called and asked for a little help.  He had four mama sow’s (female pigs that have had babies) that needed to be moved and wondered if the kids would help.  Of course they did and who can blame them?  Moving the sow’s was going to be a lot more fun than pulling weeds.  For this job I was purely a spectator.  I have moved many a mama sow’s and was able to just watch as the kids learned how it is done.  The kids did a good job, but it was also a good thing that Gpa was there.

A day of labor 4   A day of labor 3

Each sow then had to go one at a time into the barn.  It was the girls job to make sure that they did not get out and to then move them in the right direction.  They were very diligent in their job.

hands at work

I stuck around long enough to snap a few pictures and then headed back to the house to see if Seth had returned yet.  Even though it was Labor Day, he still had farmers to see, accounts to settle and a plot tour to plan.  He was able to catch the farmer that he wanted to see, so he had returned home to take a few minutes to work on the bulldozer before he headed out yet again to prepare for a plot tour the next day.  He tends to be camera-shy, (I have no idea why) but as long as he is working, I can get a few pictures.

After lunch it was once again back to the pulling of the weeds and yes I also helped out.  The kids are not yet old enough to do the laundry, so I have to divide my time between things like that and helping them.  Don’t worry though, they did not pull weeds all day!  They also had to work on their rooms, Wyatt put together his work bench and we had a 7-year-old to take pictures of.

A day of labor 5

Kendall’s birthday has passed, but it has been way to hot to try to take her yearly picture.  We took a few of her and Tessa and then we got another phone call.  It was time to move the heifers (female cattle that have not had babies) and the soon to calve two-year old heifers to the barn so that they could be sorted and moved to new places.  We dropped the girls off with Gma and then Wyatt and I headed to the red barn to help Gpa.

A day of labor 6

They all came up fine and sorted pretty well.  Gpa now has a dented-in water tank, but other than that it was a successful sort and move.  Wyatt really showed us that he is growing up and becoming a pretty good cattleman.  His mama was very proud of how he did and I think Gpa was too.

We were finishing with the cattle at dusk and Gpa still had to do chores, so Wyatt and I were in charge of getting the tractor down to the pivot so that the irrigation system could be started and run all night.  Just as we were pulling up, Seth showed back up to lend a hand and we got the pump hooked up and running.

In all it was a good day of labor.  Now I know that Labor Day is to honor those who work day in and day out to make this country strong, but sometimes having a day off, just means that there is more hands to help.

Blessings to you and all who labor,

Laurie – Country Link

*Please keep the family of U.S. Army Private Jonathan Hostetter in your thoughts and prayers.  He was brought home yesterday after giving the ultimate sacrifice for his country and will be laid to rest tomorrow.

Working Cattle on a Windy Day

Yesterday was windy.  Really windy.  It tends to be windy here in this part of Missouri, but yesterday was a very windy day and we were working calves.  Now we work cattle in all kinds of weather, but prefer to  work them on a “nice” day.  It is better for the calves and people involved.  The morning started out overcast with a chance of rain, but was to clear off after lunch.  So Gpa decided to go ahead and get started and see how far we got.


The first group we worked was down at our house.  The calves are coming along really good.  These are a few of the bull calves that are pushing 500 pounds or better.  Yes, they are this big and still on their Mama’s.  This is why we were running them though the working chute.  They needed their “booster” shots so that they will be ready to be taken off their mama’s in three weeks.  This is called weaning.  If you keep up with other bloggers, then you may see that others are calving right now.  It is up to each individual operation/farm on when they want to calve.  Typically you calve in the spring or the fall.  We choose to calve in the fall and wean in the spring.    A Kansas Farm Mom is finishing up calving and will then wean in the fall.

The wind yesterday did help to continue to dry things out so things were not as muddy, but the calves were anxious yesterday and it showed.  We had a little trouble sorting and even brought one mama cow back into the pen so that her heifer calf could follow her into the alley and to the chute.  This worked well and the calf got her shots.  The calves have been thought the chute once, so this is all still pretty new to them, but is something that needs to be done so that they are healthy.


After lunch we headed up to the “Red” barn to work the biggest group of calves.  I know this picture does not show a red barn, but trust me it really is.  I love old barns!  This one is one of my favorites.  The mama’s are coming back out of the barn from being sorted off from their calves.  Here it was even windier, but the sun was shinning, so that helped.


I just liked this picture and decided to include it.


Gpa is looking in his shirt pocket for his notebook that he carries with him every where.  It has a record of when all the calves were born and what he will be planting and where.  Does your farmer do the same thing?  Gpa does have a cell phone and an Ipad, but I don’t believe we will be seeing him with an electronic planner or smart phone, live ever.



As we were putting the last calves through the chute, we realized that we were missing five calves.  All of the cows came up, so we assumed that the calves were all there too.  My husband and our nephew, who is on spring break, went to look for them.  While waiting I took a few pictures of the cows and calves.  I love this photographer, Legacy Livestock Imaging.  Heidi’s work is wonderful!  I don’t even try to pretend to take pictures like she does, but she has inspired me to try to capture more of the spirit of the animals.


Finally, the calves were found!  Two mama’s “volunteered” to go and help look for them so they were then easy to bring to the barn and the rest of the herd.  Seth and my nephew Drew are bringing up the rear there on the Gator.  Not for sure what happened, but it could have been that they slipped under the electric fence or that do to the wind, they did not hear Gpa calling for them.  *The cows know the call to come and the sound of the tractor when it is bringing them more hay.  The calves usually listen to their mama’s.

In all it was a pretty good day working calves.  Wind and all.  Now, who is going to come in three weeks to help with the weaning?

Blessings to you and Happy National Agriculture Day,

Laurie – Country Link

Thank you for the Help!

Calves in snow

Well the time has come!  On Wednesday I posted this picture on the COUNTRY LINKed FaceBook page and asked for help in giving it some type of caption or “text”.  See, I thought the picture was saying something, but I had no idea what.  This is my dilemma a lot of the time.  I have a hard time naming my pictures too.

Once I posted the picture and asked for help, the comments started rolling in!  It was AWESOME!  Thank you to everyone who submitted an idea.  I loved all of them and it was really hard just picking one.  Here are some of my other favorites:

‘It Wasn’t Me!”

“Got Hay”

“Are We Done Yet?”

“Geez, how many pictures of us do you really need?”

“The survivors”

“Hey Paw, the kids all need new winter boots.”

“Shhhhhhh………….Nobody move, I think he’s going to forget to close the gate.  Wait until I say GO!”

You have been “tagged”.

So now the moment you all have been waiting for, (Drum roll, please).

Hay. It's What's for Dinner

A big thank you goes to Kenda S. from Missouri!  Thank you Kenda for your submission!  This picture truly does say what I am sure is on their minds.  With this much snow how can it not be all about the hay.

Kenda be sure and message me your address so that I can send you a special COUNTRY LINKed prize.  What is it you all are asking?  Well, this picture of course!

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link