It's one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Farming and Ranching. You can just about hear the dramatic music playing in the background as you read this, right? But it's true. I recently had a couple of reminders lately and thought that I would share them with you.

First off, I was thumbing through my Facebook feed and saw a notice from Mary Barz. It read, Last night Dave got rolled by a cow. He spent the night at St Benedict Hospital in Parkston. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️. No broken bones or concussion. Just really sore. The cow was bigger than him. Figuring out pain control and he will be going home. If you are on Facebook, log on and wish him well! 

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For those of you who have never been around a calving pasture or lot, you owe it to yourself to ask if you could do just that sometime. It can get wild and western, fast. I've road around with my friend Dan from Armour, South Dakota. There is nothing relaxed and nonchalant about the tagging and vaccinations of young newborn calves. In short, the mamas don't always like it. At all. If you do ride along when they get ready to step out of a pickup to tag, shut your mouth and watch.


Last year I had the opportunity to tag a calf outside of Oldham on the Jay Hojer Farm.  I was lucky. The mama of the calf we later named JD 100.5 was a former 4-H calf so she was super gentle and understanding.

South Dakota Calving Season is On!

Maybe you've seen some of the videos of a pissed-off cow at tagging time. It can get real, real fast.

The other thing with farming and ranching this time of year revolves around grain bins. I was talking a couple of years ago with Kendal from Bob's Farm Service and he told me, that grain bins and augers can be very dangerous and cave-ins inside grain bins are a very real thing and need to be treated with respect.

Grain Bin
JD Collins

In short, if you think it's all rose petals and the smell of fresh-turned dirt and fresh-cut alfalfa it isn't. Not all the time anyway, and we are cheering for our friends and family who work hard to keep us all fed to be safe this spring and summer.

And shout out, and get well to Doc Barz from Parkston. He's that Northwest Veterinary and Supply guy that helps make cattle more profitable for producers. Till the cows come home.

Life on a Cattle Ranch in Western South Dakota

Life is different out in the country. One look at the photo from Robin Bickel and you quickly realize that a workday is quite different as well, after all, she lives out west in South Dakota Cattle Country.

Robin Bickel took time to tell KIKN Country a little bit about her life out west and life as a woman, working outdoors with animals and nature in God's Country. Bickel lives and works on a cattle ranch operated by herself, her father, Jack, and his brother Keith. How far out in the country is she? How does 50 miles west of Mobridge, South Dakota sound? Yep, mountain time out there.

Life is so different in Sioux Falls, South Dakota compared to what our friends on the farm and ranches deal with. It's a half-mile to the grocery store for our family. For Robin, it's 17 miles. However, it's a quick step out her door and she's right in the middle of where a lot of the groceries come from.

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