A day in the life of Sackmann Cattle Company.

The pictures, stories, and crazy times in our world.

December 3, 2010

All in, all out, all done!

The Fall '10 sale is in the books!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who bought animals, worked (especially the crew out back) and who came to visit. All in all another successful sale. And of course thanks to JR Ranch who have allowed us to participate in their production sales.

Yes it was cold. The crew that worked out back were troopers (you can have all the cookies you want anytime!)

JR had the salebarn nice and warm, but from the GREAT collection of hats in the crowd everyone was still dressed to look at cattle in the open air. Although it may have been the nicest weather day of the week (it was -15 three days before).
One of Jeff's good friends from WSU is from Cut Bank, MT. He always used "above" or "below" when referring to the weather. I remember asking what was up with that? The answer was it was just as likely to be 20 above as 20 below. Jeff was using that nomenclature this last week. Great - its bad when you are happy because 15 "above" is 30 degrees warmer than two days before. Oh, well hopefully we've had our winter blast for the year - although that was only November. Enough whining - although I was laughing because many of my non-livestock "friends" on Facebook had great words like "fun" to describe the snow. Somehow the cattle and pig folks I talked to at the same time had different words to describe the weather. Hum!

Lila wins the award at our house - the first day it was cold & snowing the whole crew was all dressed and ready to go to chores. Jeff opened the back door and Lila was closest to the snow that was blowing in. We said "OK Lila - let's go out the door". She said "NO!" Smart girl.

Looks like our last Fall calf should be born today and we've starting synchronizing heifers for Fall breeding. It just rolls from one project to the next.

I'm thinking about getting Christmas shopping done - boring but MOST of it is done on-line.

Hope everyone has a blessed Christmas Season!

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Greetings from a winter wonderland!

Today we have much to be thankful for (even if the weather doesn't come to mind!)

Hope to see many family and friends tomorrow at the JR Fall Production Sale.

Enjoy your dining partners & great food where ever your travels take you!

November 3, 2010

Off to the presses!

Welcome November!

Loving the still nice weather. Water's off, pigs are done farrowing (start breeding for fair pigs this week), and calving well under way. Fall group is about 1/2 done. Synchonizing works great! Here's the first calf born - hiding under the wheelline. Its the first place to look when you can't find one!

The one kid picture I've managed to get every year is in Schmidt's pumpkin patch. Pumpkins are awesome as usual. Kids took some good pictures. This one was the first group shot - imagine that.

For Halloween Molly went as Dorothy - complete with Ruby-Red slippers. She's been wearing her Dorothy dress pretty much for three straight days. I'm not even going to try to identify all the stains. Apparently I've been feeding them alot of things with tomatoes! Trevor was a dinosaur "roar". Lila went as a little girl who refused to wear her sheep costume. Good thing it was a Molly left over! Very cute.

Anyway - the JR Fall Production Sale Catalog is off for printing. If you are looking to purchase cattle this fall check it out! There's a link on the "For Sale" page on our website. The guys are prepping cattle and Elsie, Robyn & I are busy making biscuits & cookies! Num, num. Hope to see you in Othello on Black Friday.

October 20, 2010

. . . And the new season begins

So I don't have pictures yet, but our first fall calf was born yesterday! The guys sorted the fall cows and I think it shook the little thing out. She's a monster, weighing in at an amazing 58 pounds. Maybe the heifer coughed a little too hard - at least we know Jeff didn't hurt himself weighing this one. She was only 8 days early! Calves born on sunny fall days are so much more fun to watch than those born in a snowstorm.

I do have cute kid pictures.

Trev playing with a truck while helping at the barn. Molly told us she wanted to go to day camp the other day. With lots of baby pigs around there's a lot more work to do with them - so Jeff told her day camp was the pigs. She was good with it.

Lila and her favorite method for transporting "Playful". Amazingly enough he purrs while in this position. Trev did think the kitten needed a bath in the mud river they created this morning. More fun at pig day camp!

And Lila helping check the hay. Too bad it was sopping wet, brown & slimy. Oh well it dried out and is in a bale - and overall we came out with less of that lovely type of hay than a lot of neighbors.

Most of the fall production sale catalog is with API, 58 fall cows to go & one more litter of pigs, water is off for the year (hip-hip-yahoo!!), and fall marches on!

October 13, 2010

We're Done!

OK - so the custom stacker still has to come pick up the last 50 acres - but we're FINALLY done with hay! The guys are still helping the neighbor put up his hay - but ours is done. The last field wasn't so pretty (out our kitchen window, of course) but it's in the bale! And there hasn't been a calf born yet, so we finished hay before we started calving.

Besides calving most of the farm has been moving cows around to use grass that is left in one pasture and get off pastures that are done for the season. Especially since corn harvest is late (& stalks aren't available yet) keeping spring cows on grass meant some rearranging. The fall cows are getting ready to calf on orchard grass regrowth. They are pretty happy cows!

We're have also welcomed three litters of pigs in the last month and await two more. Baby pigs are awfully cute and the kids enjoy them. We also have a new kitty (thanks Amanda) that must think it is part human because the silly thing purrs while Lila carries it around by the neck. Lila makes of laugh with the cat. When we first got it she just followed it around and called it her version of "kitty". Then she only wanted to hold it when Molly had it wrapped in a blanket. Next was wanting the blanket-less kitty to sit on her "knee". Now she is the one that chases it down, packs it around, and doesn't want to share. Cute, cute, cute.

Molly was helping dad "drive" the pick-up the other day. We can't believe she's so big.

And lastly - some sunset pictures from the other night and a dahlia plant from my garden (still haven't frozen!).

September 26, 2010

Feels like fall -

The end of the summer has brought plenty of craziness to our world. A normal year and we'd most likely be done with hay for the year - not this year! The guys are about half way through cutting 4th - and there is still some 3rd in the field. It seems to call in the rain every time it is about ready to bale. Our cows will get to enjoy that hay. The fun of farming.

A few of our highlights from the last six weeks.
Towards the end of August I helped my mom put together a huge brunch - served a two locations - for my cousin Lexi's wedding. The wedding was in Walla Walla and since neither Lexi nor her husband are from Walla Walla visiting family and friends got housed at all the extended family's houses up in the Blue's outside of Walla Walla. One of my favorite stories was the husbands and dates of the bridesmaids. All the girls stayed in town the night before the wedding. The mother of the bride told the guys she had a place for them to stay in the mountains. These young men from Seattle and California translated this to one room cabin, no electricity, and definetely no plumbing - but they were game. Actually, they got to stay with my aunt & uncle who have a gorgeous log home complete with hot tub & big screen TV. Here's a couple pictures from the brunch on the front lawn. I think everyone enjoyed the weekend in Walla Walla, great wine & a lovely wedding.

Of course we had lots of moments in the field. Here's a picnic lunch, Sackmann style. Hay stacks make good shade. After we had lunch we all had a quick trip around the field - thank goodness for buddy seats.
We've gotten all the calves weaned, cows pregged, and waiting for corn harvest to get cows on cornstalks. The fall bulls are moved down to JR Ranch and started on a TMR to go through the winter. We're sending some spring bulls to the WCA Bull Test in Eltopia and we'll be retaining ownership on the remaining steers. Jeff is busy sorting through a very nice crop of heifers - some will stay home, some will be in the Fall Production sale and some get to go to the feedlot.

Last spring I had this "great" idea of putting together agricultural tours for medical students from PNWU in Yakima. Friend of friend situation we know the Dean and the school is focusing on getting students into rural and underserved areas - so we thought it would be a unique opportunity to share ag's story and expose students to rural people and jobs. We ended up doing two tours - seeing all the first & second year students. A HUGE thanks to everyone who helped. We visited Avila's Dairy, Rathbun Angus, Skone & Connors, Skone Irrigation, and Washington Potato. They hosted this group and did an awesome job of telling about their industry, business, and the people of agriculture. The Cattle Producers of Washington group graciously grilled US Beef for our BBQ's. And a special thanks to Aunt Jerri & Teresa who came to watch the kids while Jeff & I worked with the tours.

The week before the medical student tours I ended up having to have my appendix removed. All is well just threw a wrench in my plans for the next couple of weeks. On my follow-up the doctor told me I could cause myself trouble if I go home and crawl into bed for the next two weeks and don't do anything. Other than wonderful parents taking our kids (that I wasn't supposed to be lifting) we just continued on - oh and stay away from my sore belly!
The tour week also brought the Adams County Fair. They let the not quite big enough to show kids come "show" bucket calves. Molly is most excited to go down every year. Its a great, small, very family friendly fair. Here she is with the calf she named "Trouble". One of the other calves was entirely broke by the time the kids were done.
And another cow picture - while trying to take more sale catalog photos we caught this one. Some spring cows are in the front and up on the hill are the fall cows.

We are back into fall mode - the kids want to go to bed earlier and we're enjoying watching harvest all around us. The kids and I are back to going to MOPS and thinking about inside activities rather than just heading outside. We've got one litter of pigs, three more due in the next two weeks and pretty soon the fall heifers will start calving. On project to the next!!

August 12, 2010

On to 3rd Cutting

The guys finished 2nd cutting last Saturday and started 3rd on Monday. So much for getting other stuff done between cuttings! Oh well. Here's a stack of orchard grass/alfalfa mix in little bales and the Inland Tarp crew is getting it covered.

Calves are growing and looking good. All the fall calves are weaned. We gave pre-weaning shots to all the spring heifers this week. Spring cow preg check is scheduled and we're thinking about fall sales. More pictures and getting publications ready. Here's a picture of the heifer we will be offering in the Evergreen Sale in Kennewick on October 9th. Of course she didn't want to stand correctly by herself so her mom is in the background. Her mom will be available at the Fall Production Sale at JR Ranch on November 26th. We will also have a fall steer at the Evergreen that will fit those Spring show needs.

This is "440" she is a pathfinder dam and grand-daughter of OCC Backstop. She will also be offered at the Fall Production Sale in November. We'll be finalizing our sale list after spring preg check. The sale offering will include bred cows, bred heifers, and open (yearling) heifers. JR will again be offering a nice selection of prospect steers and planning to sell bulls that were too young to sell in this past spring's bull sale.
On the home front its been a busy month. Jeff's sister and brother-in-law were home from Oklahoma for two weeks. The kids enjoyed their aunt "Ju-Ju". Molly had two weeks of swim lessons followed by a week of VBS. For a group of kids that are usually pretty unscheduled (especially during the summer) three weeks of places to be everyday and lots of visiting family makes for a mom that is way behind on most everything else. I also applaud pre-school and kindergarten teachers because half a day with a small herd of 3 & 4 year olds was plenty for me! August looks not so crazy - but only time will tell.

Another adventure this past month was the Washington Farm Bureau's Young Farmer & Rancher Golf Tournament. THANKS to all of our sponsors! On my way West on a beautiful Saturday morning Mt. Rainer greeted me as I crested Ryegrass. When we got to the Druids Glen Golf Course in Covington, there our mountain was again. We undoubtedly live in a beautiful place.

July 14, 2010


Now that it is the middle of July, second cutting is under way.

We had lots of rain in May and June. It was a blessing for our dry-land farmer relatives and friends but made a mess of our first cutting. Today, we are about three weeks behind normal "schedule". But we shouldn't have any water overage problems!

On the cow side, we've started to wean fall calves and are pulling bulls out of the spring cows.

We try to use as much fence-line weaning as possible. With our facilities that means weaning a number of small groups over time. Since we've been using this procedure as much as possible the last few years our problems at weaning have been very minimal.

Jeff got the world's {slowest} crew for working cows & calves the other day. Earlier this spring we had a circle crash. The rest of the {real} crew was working on getting the "new" circle going and a little group of pairs needed to be worked. So Jeff settled for a 4 1/2 year old, 2 17 month olds, and me to get 12 pair through the chute. We won't be able to hire out by the hour but everything got done and I don't think the kids learned any new words! At least good stories.

Most of the cows are happy out on lush green pasture. We're working on taking pictures getting ready for sales this fall. Our cows aren't train to stand with their legs just so, nor do they listen when we tell them to 'stop' in the previously mentioned pose. Mark your calendars for October 9 & November 27.

July 7, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Yes, I know it is July 7th - but I think this is a holiday we should appreciate, celebrate, and work to honor everyday of the year.
I admit - when I started this I planned to post at least once a month. Every month brings something different around here. Yet just to start - I've lost 3 months. In some ways 3 months is a record breaking pace. I usually figure two years on projects; unless they have a due date or are "on fire".
So I'll get some pictures off my camera and try again.

This has been a crazy spring. We didn't start 1st cutting until we are often done with it. So plenty of time for the kids to run away from my efforts of posed pictures.

This was taken the first week of June.

March 21, 2010

Bull Sale!

WOW! Thank you buyers & JR Ranch. What a wonderful group of people who put on a first class event. As always, bull sales mean lots of chatting, checking out cattle, and being on the seller side is certainly different than being on the buyer side. Lots of work for everyone all comes together and - what seems like may take forever - is over pretty quickly. Checked out our current calf crop this morning with yesterdays results in mind. Of course we are almost done calving for the year. The last 10 will take as long as the first 80 - we hadn't had a calf for over a week but we had a set of twins and a single yesterday. All is well and that's how it goes.