ranching

Foothill Agrarian
Why a Lamb Becomes a Bummer (and What Happens Then)

Mar 4, 2015
Why a Lamb Becomes a Bummer (and What Happens Then)

Mo keeping track of our newest bummer lambIf you raise sheep, at some point, you'll have a lamb whose mother won't - or can't - take care of it.  Sometimes we discover a lamb in our pasture that hasn't bonded with its mother.  Sometimes we ha...

Foothill Agrarian
Why Shepherds Worry

Mar 1, 2015
Why Shepherds Worry

Our flock of ewes started lambing last Saturday.  While I love this time of year (I've written previously that lambing season is like six weeks of Christmas), I also worry during lambing.  I try to limit my worrying to things I can do somethi...

Foothill Agrarian
A Lucky Guy

Feb 20, 2015
A Lucky Guy

I might get in trouble for posting this picture!  I wish I knew who the artist is (perhaps somebody who sees this will know).  My friend Jeannie Hodges, who is the mother of my best friend from elementary school, posted this on my Facebook ti...

Foothill Agrarian
Herding Cultures

Feb 14, 2015
Herding Cultures

While today is Saturday (a day off for most), I went in to my new job to help move 300+ heifers into fresh pasture (complete with bulls!) this morning.  Ranching, even on a university research station, is rarely a 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday job...

Foothill Agrarian
How will we know when it’s over?

Feb 8, 2015

As I write this on Sunday evening (February 8, 2015), my rain coat and my winter work coat are both drying.  This weekend marks the first time I've needed rain gear since before Christmas - so far, we've measured nearly 2.75" of rain since Fr...

Foothill Agrarian
Here We Go Again

Feb 1, 2015

Thanks to the rain we had in November and December, we have substantially more green grass at the end of January 2015 than we had a year ago.  But with virtually no rain since Christmas Eve, even with much warmer-than-normal temperatures, grass gr...

Foothill Agrarian
The Evolution of a Stock Dog

Jan 30, 2015

If you've read my blog in the past, you'll know that I frequently write about my experiences learning to use border collies to help me manage my sheep.  As my own skills and confidence have improved, so have the skills and confidence of my dogs. &...

Foothill Agrarian
Research Cowboy

Jan 25, 2015
Research Cowboy

I've only been at the University of California's Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center for a little more than a week, but I'm thinking this new job - as a "research cowboy" - is going to be a pretty good fit for me.SFREC is a 5,700-acre ranch t...

Foothill Agrarian
Global Weirding

Jan 12, 2015
Global Weirding

As I was setting up fences this morning to give my ewes some additional grazing for the day, I was startled to see two large flocks of geese flying high overhead, headed north.  While we have lazy resident Canada geese that don't migrate, these ge...

Foothill Agrarian
Selling Sheep

Jan 8, 2015

For some time now, I’ve realized that my current income level (between my current part-time job and our sheep business) doesn’t meet my family’s needs.  While I’ve been planning to return to college to obtain a masters degree, I’ve also decided to take a full-time job that will provide enough income and allow...

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