AG Elsewhere : Montana

Photo & Description by Jean Stimpson 

ICE, ICE…CHOP!

“Our temperature today as I write this is 10 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Montana rancher’s wife, Jean Stimpson in early February. Depicting the picture she said, “The creek freezes over and we have to chop ice for the cows to water. Besides feeding hay everyday when the temps drop into the single digits, we also feed straw before it gets dark. It gives them warm bedding to lay on and a little something to munch on.” Stimpson added, “It’s interesting to watch the cows when it gets really cold, they group-up and mill around each other, working their way from the middle to the outside as the ones in the middle warm up and move to the outside to allow those to push to the middle so they can warm up.” As March arrives, temperatures can get up into the 30s and 40s, which then causes the ice on the creek to start breaking up. However, Stimpson said that can cause other problems, like when trying to cross the creek or ice jams, causing flooding. Stimpson concluded saying, “March is when we start calving this year, hoping for not-so-cold of weather. We love calving season and the promise of spring!”

To read more pick up a copy of the March 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.