Calves, skunks, and mud: Stepaside Farm update


Sometimes when you buy a place you think, I should never have bought it. Not this one. For as hard as we’ve been working to get the ranch ready, I still love this property.


We’ve finally got some Wagyu off the farm and up on the ranch. We had a big rain, so I went up to check on how the new road held up. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something move in the long grass. I thought it was a skunk with its tail held high. No, it was a brand-new calf, its black ear sticking up! I couldn’t believe it! No one was supposed to be pregnant. We’d had the whole herd checked before putting them up there! This is the ranch that keeps on giving.


Our new farm manager, Lalo, is knowledgeable and handling the cows really well. Our focus lately has been to sync them all up so they can be pregnant at the same time (and have fewer surprises). I’m learning a ton watching him work. He puts them through the chute in groups of three which relaxes them.

To tell the truth, half of what he says goes over my head. I’ve heard all the terminology, but the breeding, cycling at this stage, low and high point… I still have a lot to learn. What matters to me is that the cows are calm with him around. If my girls are happy, I’m happy.

All the babies are a month old, so we sent everyone through for shots and hoof trimming. It’s amazing to see a 2000 pound cow flipped in their side to get their pedicure. Two of the girls that were lame before are now perfectly fine and sound. The bull had his feet done too (he requested black hoof polish) so he can look good for the girls.


We’re closer than ever to having the ranch processing area complete. Not without a few surprises, though. I ordered 10 tons of road-base gravel for the road into the ranch. The guy who brought it up got his truck stuck in the mud and had to get pulled out. Instead of dumping it from his truck, we had to bring in 10 tons of gravel by wheelbarrow.

We’re working on the fencing so that we have a place to gather the cows, sort, and process them. We’ve got another 50-100 of loads of old dead trees to bring out. Dead trees drive me crazy. There are so many lovely trees up there for shade for the cows and a pond too.


The babies are getting ready to go to the track in two weeks. After we break them, I like to give them a few months to just relax. Now they’re back from vacation and getting ready to train for racing.

That’s about it for now. But that’s enough for us!