What does wrangling 168 cows and trucking them across the country and building new structures based on Temple Grandin designs have to do with missionary work? Have you seen the movie Temple Grandin? I have to be careful here, because she has not signed off on or seen anything we have done. However it is some of her proven methods that we are trying to incorporate. The idea is to calm the cows down and move them through quicker with less stress.
At first glance it makes very little sense. It seems like it would be a distraction from Bible translation. I had these same thoughts. Our missionary center now has 240 head of cattle! It all started at the beginning of our land lease more than 60 years ago. As part of our lease, we're required to do agricultural work in our valley. I can't be sure of this, as I have not read (or even wanted to read) the details of the lease. But what this has allowed us to do is to provide food for our members and staff, and to sell mature cows commercially. Additional income helps us with our core needs. Twenty of these cows are milking cows, so we get fresh milk and yogurt!
Cowboy work and tending cattle is not my work - we have a great team for that. Recently, however, we have needed some new infrastructure. That is my work. Whatever needs to be built, my team can do it!
We finally ran our first gaggle of 180 cows through our newly completed corral this week! Tagging new cows, recording them, and separating them out. It would normally take a day and a half but the cattle team did it in just 3 hrs! It wasn't without hiccups as these cows are rather wild. We are totally done yet but almost. Enjoy the Pics!
|One of our milking cows. In an effort to beef😜up our cattle program we recently purchased nearly 170 cows from 3 hrs away. While this was a huge change, it was needed to make our program successful.|
|We worked with these cattle wranglers from Tablebirds, in the always-gorgeous Markam Valley, to get 168 new cows.|
|These Markam Valley cows were fairly wild.|
|Cows were moved for days with at least 5 different trucks making multiple, full-day trips.|
|The cows were moved from 3-4 hrs away.|
|Our current squeeze and corral is getting an extreme makeover! |
|Toby working cement for a large watering area.|
|The worst cement finish we have ever done, intentionally grooved to prevent slippage.|
|The completed trough, ready for action!|
|We are still working on the new cattle corral with curving walls based on Temple Grandin's designs. Dr. Grandin is a prominent author and speaker on both autism and animal behavior. She impressively designed corrals that calmed cattle down and made running them through chutes and squeezes much easier. We have yet to finish it, but soon we'll test it out. Our carpenters and the cowboys are super-excited to see it all in action! Stay tuned!|
We have finally completed it and run 180 cows through it! It works! It calms the cows down and helps the whole process. Of course there are some things that we needs to improve, but it a great start!