Friday, January 31, 2014

Very tough times call for very tough choices

I posted just a couple weeks ago about this devastating drought facing California. We are the driest the state has been for as long as records have been kept. It is so bad that tree rings are being used for drought comparisons and according to that, we are the driest that California has been in 400 years.

No water means no crops, no farming and no food being grown.

We farm a variety of crops so this impacts us very drastically. As it sits right now, we will not be able to farm this year. Unless we get a Miraculous March, there will simply not be enough water to grow our crops.

One of the crops we grow is beef. We raise beef cows and have been growing our herd for almost 10 years. We have carefully selected cows and bulls to grow a high quality herd. Many of these cows we have owned for their entire lives and we take great pride in the care that we provide for them. We have put substantial "blood, sweat and tears" into growing our herd of cows. We grew this herd from nothing and they mean a lot to us.

For the last 5 years we have been finishing some of our cattle each year to provide beef to our amazing customers at local farmers markets and direct to their door. We have built a loyal customer base by bringing them great quality beef all year long. But that is about to come to a stand still.

Because we have no water, there is no grass growing. With no grass we have no food growing for the cows to eat. We make and store hay - dried grass - to supplement them and keep that on hand for dry times. But this is more that just a dry time and we are rapidly using up our supply of supplemental cow food. With lots of mouths to feed and not enough food for them, we are forced to start selling off some of these cows.

We started this process slowly but are now forced to speed the process up. Next to go are the young cattle (steers) who would have been finished on grass and grain for our farmers market customers during the course of the year. By selling these steers we can hopefully keep our cows fed longer and prevent having to sell the cows too. 

Keep praying for rain, every bit we get will help farmers and ranchers in California and help all of those who rely on the water and food we produce.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Praying for rain for all of you!!!