All uphill: Winter ranch work at Stepaside Farm


We’re working on the new road on the ranch property up the hill and putting in a new processing area for the cows. We’ve got a great level space for it. Instead of a mechanical squeeze like we use on the farm, this time we’re putting in a hydraulic squeeze chute. Hopefully, it will be a lot kinder and friendlier to the cows.

Before we chose the squeeze, I really wanted to see one in person. So I went out to look at a chute installed at a feed lot nearby and ended up hiring someone to set up our whole processing area. It was a happy accident. The guy I hired knows what he’s doing, is methodical, and will save me expensive mistakes. It takes a lot to admit, but I just can’t do everything. If all goes as planned (and that’s always a big IF on a ranch), our cows will be up on the ranch property by the middle of February.


Also starting in February, we’re gaining a herdsman to take over the primary duty of handling, caring for, and breeding our herd. It’s great. I’ll still be around the cows, but now we’ll have someone with experience to take the reins and steer us in the right direction. Now the herd’s needs won’t be all on me anymore, but I’m looking forward to it. With a herdsman in charge, I can focus on doing the things I enjoy most.


We’ve got load of calves coming along soon. Our new Wagyu bull is out in the pasture with the girls. Our two new heifers also arrived from Vintage Angus Ranch, both pregnant by a well-known sires. One of the heifers was small, but she’s caught right up. Just like thoroughbred yearlings–sometimes they look like weanlings, and they’re a gamble. But with such good bloodlines, they will be big girls. Later, they’ll help us create embryos to build our herd.

That’s all the news for now. I’m headed back up the hill to do more work getting the ranch ready and will try to keep the Caterpillar upright going uphill.