Diane Prather: A farmer or rancher’s Christmas list

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Diane Prather

The wheat harvest is done, and the hay is stacked, waiting for winter feeding.

Hunting season is over (for the most part, anyway), and farmers and ranchers got a well-deserved break while celebrating Thanksgiving.

While enjoying leftover turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie, people are going over their Christmas lists, trying to decide what gifts to buy for friends and family.

Can you imagine what you’d find on a farmer or rancher’s Christmas list?

Consider the following as possibilities:

• Enough snow in the mountains to provide adequate spring irrigation water.

• New coveralls to replace those with knee patches over knee patches.

• A new chain for the calf puller, since the original one has been lost awhile.

• A flashlight that’s guaranteed to withstand a cow trampling.

• Plenty of hay to last the winter.

• Wool socks for those below-zero mornings.

• A new seat for the tractor.

• Newly-designed fence stretchers, as seen on TV.

• A fishing license and time to use it.

• Easy-on-electricity stock tank heaters.

• Gift certificate to the local implement dealership, veterinary clinic or feed store. Or, all three.

• Moisture to get the wheat crop up.

• A T-bone steak dinner with all the trimmings.

• A new Stetson hat.

• A treat for the ranch dog that rides in the pickup truck each day.

• A John Deere calendar.

• A cell phone that can survive being dropped out of a pickup truck or out of a pocket when riding with the cows (colored phone preferred so it can be seen in the brush).

• A container for all the invoices and receipts to replace the big bowl on the buffet or glove box in the pickup truck.

• A new cap with ear flaps that pull down over the ears.

• A new saddle blanket for old Buck.

• An extra set of jumper cables.

• A new recliner and warm blanket for napping.

• A loud alarm clock.

• A new scoop shovel, to replace the one lost off the pickup truck bed.

• A box for syringes, ear tags, tagging gun, vaccines, iodine and other supplies carried back and forth to check baby calves and lambs.

• A plane ticket to Las Vegas, and time to use it.

• A new water jug for the combine, to replace the old one that had been dropped and even nearly run over.

• A programmed cell phone with numbers that are often needed — implement dealerships, veterinarian and others.

• A coffee pot that can be set to brew on its own.

• Drying rack for wet boots.

• Books about earlier ranch and farm life and time to read them.

• Irrigation boots to replace those with holes.

• A wash job for the muddy pickup truck.

• A sheet of cookies still warm from the oven.

• Parts book for the new tractor.

• A refrigerator for the shop stocked with cold soda pop.

• Comfortable chair for the shop and time to sit in it.

• A current almanac.

• Several pair of chore and fencing gloves (Ever notice that there are lots of left-handed gloves around but no right-handed?)

• A new cooler for lunches to replace the old one that is too greasy to clean up.

• A wish for family and friends to be safe, healthy and happy

Enjoy getting ready for the Christmas season.

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