Wednesday, March 25, 2020

April Fools!

April Fool's Day is here! A day fully dedicated to tricks and jokes. Almost everyone has fallen victim to an April Fool's Day joke at one point or another. Some people take this day to the extreme and pull big pranks while others do small ones. No matter the size of the prank, a lot of laughs are shared, maybe not by the person being tricked, but eventually they usually think it is funny as well, even if it takes a while before they laugh. How did this day come about you might ask? Well some historians speculate that April Fool's Day dates all the way back to 1582, but its exact origins remain a mystery.

This year April Fool’s Day tricks might be easier since most people are stuck at home and keeping social distance, it will be easy for some to not even notice what the date is. Throughout my seventeen years of April Fool’s Days, I have realized that fooling a farmer is really fun. Most farmers never know the date and if they do, they usually won’t remember what day April Fool’s Day falls on. That’s the last thing on their mind because when they see that calendar flip to April they only have spring and planting season on their mind.

I’m sending a huge goodluck wishes to all the people who are planning a trick whether it’s big or small. I would also like to take this chance and thank all my readers. It really means the world to me when I go into public and people tell me they read my articles or tell me to keep up the good work. However I have some sad news, this article will be my last one. Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me and read Kesley’s Corral and I hope you still keep reading because I’m not nearly done yet, April Fools! Did I get you? 

~ Kesley Holdgrafer

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Coronavirus Cancelations

This month has really been crazy. I think I jinxed it when I said I hope since March came in like a lamb it could just as well leave like one too. We all know though that is not how the saying goes. If it comes in like a lamb it will leave like a lion. Well March is really leaving like a lion and it doesn’t have much to do with the weather this year. Churches are closed, schools are closed, all sporting events have been cancelled or postponed, stores are running out of everything, and much more.

As of now I figured I would have piles of homework to do from school as we finish up third quarter and prepare for fourth, but in all reality I just have a list of chores to do on the farm. This no school thing for at least four weeks started off as something really cool. I thought I would be able to sleep in, watch movies, and relax with my friends. However I feel like I am the newest full time helper on the farm feeding calves, sweeping the shop, cleaning the shop and anything else my family can think of. Many hours of family bonding will be done during the next few weeks with all four of us kids home on an unplanned and extended break.

My brothers are also beginning to realize that checking cows was much easier when they were three hours away at college. Their easy days of checking cows on their phone in between classes has now become countless times of driving over to the farm to feed the cows, tag the calves, and make new pens. My brothers are also beginning to realize the cows can’t see their face through the camera and the cows are very confused as to who they are. This past week one of my brothers got chased out of the yard by a high spirited cow. I haven’t seen him run that fast since his 7th grade track season.

Best of luck to you and yours as we all try to stay positive through these trying times. Who knew this Coronavirus could cause such a ruckus? One of my favorite farmer quotes is, “tough times don’t last but tough people do.” 

~ Kesley Holdgrafer

Nicer Weather

I bet you all know the saying in like a lion, so out like a lamb. Well, March came in like a lamb, so does that mean we should brace ourselves for a lion of a storm at the end of the month? Nobody wants that because in April it is springtime meaning it's time to get into the field and plant. The last thing we need is another season full of snow and rain where we can not get into the fields and when we do finally get into the field then we make a huge muddy mess.

The beginning of March this year has brought some awesome weather. The sun is shining and everyone is happy. The nice weather however can either relax the farmer or stress them out even more. It has made for some awesome calving weather. Late-night check-ups on cows calving is not as bad when it is not as cold. I think it even makes the cows happier. Great weather leads to happier farmers and we all know that when the farmer is happy all is well. Nice weather can also stress them out. It reminds them that they have to get in the fields soon. Then they remember all the stuff they still have to do and how they are not ready for planting to begin. Before they know it they are making HUGE lists and stressing about every possible thing you could think of.

I’m just going to keep enjoying this great March weather. I get next week off from calving season as the college boys/cow owners will be home from college for spring break. They can do their own chores for once. It would almost make me giggle if they got a little snow to make their chores longer and more stressful, but I realize a long week with them home means a lot of work can get done in the shop rather quickly. Dad’s big list of jobs will start to dwindle much faster with all the extra hands at home to help.

Bring on that wintery roaring lion if the old folklore is true! But it’d sure be great if it was just a myth. Good luck with your last couple weeks before the crazy spring begins, hope the last half of calving is as great as the first, and I really hope we’ve seen the last of the snow for this season. In like a lamb and out like a lamb would be simply awesome! 

~ Kesley Holdgrafer

Doctors and Farming

It is technically the off-season for farmers right now. They are not in the fields at the moment to plant or to harvest. They spend most of the winter in the shop working on various things around the farm and getting things ready for spring time. I have always wondered when do farmers go to the doctor? They are always so busy. This past February I saw my dad go to the dentist for a filling that was supposed to be done in October.

I also know that farmers will sometimes refuse to ever go to the doctor. During the winter a lot of things can happen. While working something can fall and hit their foot. We all know it’s calving season and sometimes a cow can get angry and the farmer isn’t quite as fast as he once was. However no matter how banged up a farmer may get they still finish the work they have to do that day. Then when they finally do come home they find a frozen bag of peas and slap it on the area that hurts. If they are told, “You should go to the doctor.” They just quickly respond, “It’s a long way from my heart” or “I’ll just throw some dirt on it.” My favorite response is when they say, “Oh it will be fine by tomorrow,” but in reality it is just bigger and more swollen with the deepest dark purple color that I have ever seen.

Why are rough, tough, and gruff farmers so scared of a doctor or a dentist and hate to even go there? Every farmer I know is a superb animal care specialist. They can treat a pig, pull a calf, and duct tape up farm kid’s finger with their eyes closed. They are awesome at all of this doctor stuff yet why are they so scared to be the patient?

Farmers are used to being in control. They hate to give that power to someone else.A doctor might make them run more tests, or worse yet, make them take a few days off! Gasp! How does the farm survive? A farmer on vacation is one thing, but a farmer laid up in the house is quite another. Good luck with getting a farmer to a well check appointment and even more luck is needed to get them there when they are ailing. Maybe reading this article will help them realize they need that extra attention just like they expertly give their pigs, calves, and kids. Let’s keep our farmers healthy and haul them to their appointment tied up in the livestock trailer if we have to! 

~ Kesley Holdgrafer