Amanda Radke
Mitchell, s.d.

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September 16, 2013
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Amanda Radke: A Cowgirl's Perspective 9-14-13

September is my favorite time of year. There’s a certain anticipation in the air.

The cattle are getting antsy for greener pastures, which means lots of fence fixing, electric fence additions and plenty of worry that the cows might get into the neighbor’s corn.

As ranchers, we are also getting antsy to bring those calves home and wean them. The anticipation of seeing how well those mama cows did in growing those calves and wondering if we might beat past weaning weight records.

Taking nightly pasture tours, we pick out our favorite bulls, our replacement heifers and the duds we are disappointed in because they were supposed to be the next great one! We scratch our heads wondering what went wrong.

September is great because we get to finally start preparing for harvest. The corn is standing tall this year, and the ears are looking nice and full. The beans, well, we’ve had better years, but that’s the way it goes. We’re getting antsy to roar up the combines and get to work.

But September is the month of waiting for us. Waiting to wean. Waiting to harvest. The busy schedule of summer has passed. We are no longer working on show calves twice each day and traveling from one end of the country to the other to state fairs and jackpot shows.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty to do, but there’s something about the sweet cool air of September that urges me to pause and slow down, to reflect on why I like the agricultural business, to really relish in the beauty of the prairie that I live in, and to appreciate all that we have and how hard we have worked for it.

We are blessed in this business to be able to work with multiple generations. Having Dad and Grandpa still around is truly a joy, although some days we don’t always agree. In May, we will be adding a brother-in-law/son-in-law to the mix, and I’m excited to finally have a brother of my own, and my husband is glad to finally have a guy his age to hang out with, instead of us girls.

September also brings a fall bounty from the garden — potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, onions and carrots. There’s plenty to do in the kitchen, making salsa, blanching carrots, and making a pie or two. There’s nothing better than making tasty treats from food you have grown yourself. Somehow, it tastes just a little better.

Each September, we butcher our 4-H market hogs and steers, so there’s plenty of grilling, bonfires and family meals around the farm house.

September also brings golden colors, crunchy grass, beautiful leaves and pumpkin carving!

Sweet, beautiful September, how I adore you. This is truly my favorite time of year. It’s hard to believe the month is half over, but I hope you take the time to breathe in the cool autumn air and take a moment to appreciate all of your blessings. Happy fall, everyone! ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Oct 17, 2013 09:46AM Published Oct 8, 2013 11:40AM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.