Petersen: A years worth of country living | TheFencePost.com

Petersen: A years worth of country living

Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.

A new year is upon us. In the country, the rhythms of crops and critters begin the New Year's cycle one more time. Politicians may holler expletives and blather promises; but without those who produce the food and fiber that support all life, the hotshots of the world would be up a creek without the proverbial paddle.

"The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn't still be a farmer."

-Will Rogers

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the cornfield."

“Ear-ing down a snorty bronc and getting set to brand, finding strays and feeding bums and fencing ‘cross the land.”

-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

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"An industry that feeds you is an industry worth fighting for."

-Tierra Kessler

"Why do farmers farm? Love. They must do it for love."

-Wendell Berry

"My Grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher. But every day, three times a day, you need a farmer."

-Brenda Schoepp

COUNTRY LIFE — A TO Z

Agriculture's country rhythms city folk don't know

Blatting lambs and bawling calves and colts that whicker low

Counting critters, checking heifers, calving out the cows

Dally ropes and playful doggies, time to farrow sows

Ear-ing down a snorty bronc and getting set to brand

Finding strays and feeding bums and fencing 'cross the land

Grasses, grains, and gardens flourish — rich with food to eat

Hay and horses, hens and eggs, and bees make honey sweet

Irrigating, shoveling mud and hauling heavy dams

Jug the ewes in early spring; assist the birth of lambs

Kittens mew in plaintive voices in the milking barn

Lambs grow fat and ewes grow wool to make the fine-spun yarn

Mow the hay and harvest grain in summer until fall

Nestled calf behind a bush awaits his mamma's call

Oysters cut from scared bull calves sure make a gourmet treat

Powder River, let 'er buck! The cowboy keeps his seat?

Quarter horses, Appaloose, Mustangs in the West

Riding ranges, rural fun; the country is the best

Sheep are trailed to mountain grass; coyotes stalk a lunch

Trail the woolies home in fall; the bucks now join the bunch

Underwear beneath his Wranglers warm a puncher's hide

Vegetation chokes the coulees where the cowboys ride

Wild and woolly, full o' fleas and when the work's all done

X the dates till Christmas comes; the days grow short of sun

Yoke the teams when snow is deep; the livestock must be fed

Zany fun at New Year's dance; oh how this year has sped!❖

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