Soft snow is falling on Pipi’s Pasture. It’s a Christmas card scene for sure. As I watch the snow fall, I’m thinking about this year’s Christmas season. I will remember it for the warm memories, particularly those memories of giving from the heart.
As far back as 1628 “husbandry” was defined as agricultural produce, land under cultivation, farming. The word husband also implies a caretaker of land and livestock, a hands-on activity. From shepherds watching their flocks by night as described in the Bible, up to farm managers milking cows, showing fat steers and roping at the branding fire, animal husbandry was an appropriate title for a bachelor’s degree for a century.
A mink farm that’s been under pressure in the past week was denied a conditional use permit by Moffat County commissioners at their Tuesday meeting. The farmers pursued the permit even after their farm was raided by an unidentified individual or group. The Moffat County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident. All of the farmers’ mink were set free in the raid, and although many were recaptured, all are useless as breeding stock. They can only be sold for their pelts. That decreases the price of the mink from more than $250,000 to about $10,000, the farmers said. In an anonymous e-mail, the Earth Liberation Front alleged it perpetrated the act and praised the individual or individuals who carried it out.
On Nov. 13, 4-H members, their families and leaders looked back on the many accomplishments of the 2013 program year. The annual 4-H Achievement Night was held at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion. This week’s “From Pipi’s Pasture” salutes the 4-H members and leaders.
A controversial mink farm in Moffat County may be out of business because an unidentified person or group released the animals from their cages Thursday. The Moffat County Sheriff's Department currently is investigating the issue, so it couldn’t release many details, but it was certain that this was an intentional act, Cpl. Alec Brown said. “We know that some mink were purposefully released,” Brown said.
A mink farm is causing controversy in Moffat County. A group of farmers brought a proposal before Moffat County commissioners Tuesday to re-establish their mink farm in a new location. The mink farm currently is in the Western Knolls subdivision, an agricultural community about 8 miles west of Craig. But community members next to the existing mink farm and near the proposed site spoke against the proposal and requested that commissioners deny the farmers a conditional permit.
Routt County lost another member of an elder generation of ranchers Oct. 20 when James T. “Jack” Redmond died at his family’s historic ranch house at the edge of the Flat Tops on Bull Creek. Redmond was emblematic of a generation that grew up in the Great Depression and weathered the tumult and shortages of World War II to deliver their farms, ranches and families to more prosperous times.
Years ago, when we lived on the Front Range, one of our neighbors, an older lady, used to watch Benji, our son’s dog, when he was outdoors. Sometimes Benji rolled around on the ground, both legs up in the air as he rubbed his back. “Stop that!” our neighbor yelled at Benji. “When dogs roll around on the ground, it means that the wind will blow.”
We have a responsibility to leave the world a better place for future generations. That means being good stewards of the land and protecting habitat for all wildlife. By protecting sage grouse, we protect the land and water that all of us — from hunters and hikers to anglers and ranchers — value and enjoy. And here in northwest Colorado, by protecting sage grouse we enhance our local economy. Saving sage grouse just makes good dollars and sense.
This is the time of year when 4-H and FFA members choose their livestock for the coming year, especially the market animals since they need to start feeding them. During November and December (by January), 4-H members also select those general 4-H projects that they wish to complete during the coming year. The target date for completion of all of these projects is county fair.
It’s funny how different one year can be from another. For example, last year we brought the cattle home from summer pasture the first weekend in September and fed them expensive hay until they went back to pasture in late May. This year, we’re thankful that there was enough grass, helped along a little by September rain, so that the cattle could stay on pasture until October — last weekend, to be exact.
The recent rains are proof that we just can’t predict what the weather will be like from year to year, even month to month. Out here, in the area around Pipi’s Pasture, the short grasses have gotten enough moisture so that they’re green again, much like spring. Our lawn is emerald green, just as it is in May.
The recent flooding in Colorado’s Front Range and surrounding areas could have a negative impact on the rest of the state, including Northwest Colorado.
The 15th annual Craig Sheep Wagon Days takes place today at Wyman Living History Museum. The event is a celebration of the agricultural heritage of Northwest Colorado complete with demonstrations and displays for all ages, including a blacksmithing station, a hay maze, a petting zoo and more.
The hot, dry days — until now — of summer have flown by, and suddenly, it’s time for area ranchers to be thinking about bringing the cattle and sheep home from summer pasture. That goes for our family, too. Before long, we’ll be hauling our little herd home for the winter.