My heart continues to throb for all the ranchers who have lost any number of their cattle herds. I can’t imagine the heartache and devastation that they are feeling right now. Pictures have been surfacing on different blogs and websites of the aftermath and clean-up attempts – all of which still bring a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. To be completely honest I don’t know how much longer I can stomach all of the chaos.
So for this post I have decided to look on the bright side of things – and in no way shape or form am I attempting to rub salt in the wounds of those effected by the winter storm “Atlas.”
As some of you may know my mom is engaged to John Bruner, owner of Bruner Limousin in Winfred, SD. During the storm, Bruner Limousin had 40 mother cows and 13 calves in Newell, SD; this was basically in the heart of the storm. The cattle were under the great care of Ron Swan and his family.
The irony of the situation is that during the 3 inches of rain the cattle decided to take it upon themselves and find shelter. This lead them to breaking out of the pasture they were in, Ron saddled up his horse and went to gather the cattle during the downpour. The cows were lucky enough that he had to put them in a pasture behind his single car garage until he could get the fence fixed. The cattle weathered the storm behind a single car garage – and truly this was the reason all of them were able to survive.
Bruner Limousin is exceptionally thankful for all the hard work and diligence that Ron has put into taking care of the cattle. The cattle were able to come home on the Thursday following the storm.
I had been doing very well with the whole “not crying” thing until I came home this weekend and my mom told me the story about the cattle getting here. She said she had told John, “I am going to give the trucker a big hug when he gets here and thank him for bringing my cows home safe.” I can only picture my 5 foot-nothing mom giving a big burly truck driver a hug. After giving him a hug she told the trucker, “I’m going to go hug my cows now!”
My question to you is: how do consumers – and those unknowing to the cattle industry – even think that we don’t care about our animals? This storm has honestly been the center of my families conversation. I have given the cows an extra big hug just for reassurance this visit because you never know what could happen to them.
Raising cattle isn’t a way of profit – it’s a way of life. A love, a passion, and an undying ability to love something so much you would do anything for it. Just as Bruner Limousin’s good friend Mr. Swan did.
So to those who question the intent of the rancher; I ask you – I beg of you – please come spend a day with me and my family taking care of the cattle. You will soon realize there is so much more to this way of life.
Once again, my best regards to those suffering from this tragedy! You are in mine, and the Bruner families, thoughts and prayers!