Some thoughts on being a shepherd 1

Some thoughts on being a shepherd
Farming is a waiting game. Time is calibrated with the seasons. There is a time for everything and patience is a necessary virtue. On Mr Ed’s farm, it is lambing season. The first lambs, a nice set of twins, came last Thursday, sometime during the night, without incident. Just the way I like it. Actually, ...

Sometimes you have to be smarter than a pig 1

Sometimes you have to be smarter than a pig
Transporting animals can be tricky business. Anyone who has ever loaded a horse in a trailer for the first time probably has an interesting story to tell. I heard a story the other day about a belligerent horse that refused to be loaded. The horse was owned by a women. Men were trying to get ...

Why I never pursued a career in waste management 2

Why I never pursued a career in waste management
We often ask children what they want to do when they grow up. They have to answer this from limited life experience. Perhaps we should ask “What are you sure you don’t want to do?” Asked this at an early age, I would have had a good start on a list. In hindsight, life on ...

The story of Agnes, the angry bovine 2

The story of Agnes, the angry bovine
Memories are funny things. You never know when one will come flooding back to you. Things that happened a long time ago suddenly vividly reappear, triggered by a smell, sound or sight. Middle age is filled with memory triggers. Walking out of a warm house on a cold winter morning just as the sun is ...

How I met Mrs Ed 4

How I met Mrs Ed
Valentines Day, a day to remember loves lost and love found. Remember fourth grade when boys and girls exchanged valentines and you studied each one looking for some hidden meaning? It’s probably a good thing most people don’t choose their soul mate in 4th grade. It’s like buying a horse because it is cute, beautiful ...

Mr Ed’s Farm education program outline. Comments and suggestions welcome. 2

Mr Ed's Farm education program outline. Comments and suggestions welcome.
Mr Ed’s Farm is a work in progress that started a long time ago. When I was an elementary school student, Mrs. Johnson took us on a field trip. We had studied Minnesota History. We had studied American Indians. I was a voracious reader, consuming everything the school library had on the topic. I also ...

The night I almost made it home 1

The night I almost made it home
Being away from home for an extended period of time for a farmer is like a barn sour horse. You can physically get away but it’s always in the back of your mind. Going away from the “barn” the horse goes increasing slower. Coming back, hang on! I’ve worked horses that appear dog tired only ...

Staring death in the eye, he said”No problem” 5

Staring death in the eye, he said
My buddy Duane and I have been going up to Ely to help with the ice harvest for the past five years. The event is a throw back to the days before electric refrigerators. While electric power reached American cities in the late 1800’s, much of rural America did not get power until FDR’s Rural ...

COYOTES!! 1

COYOTES!!
There is one word that sends shivers through the heart of sheep ranchers besides wolves, eagles and bears. It is COYOTES!. People ask me if predators ever get our sheep. Mostly they are thinking timber wolves. “Not that I know of, ” I tell them. “We have coyotes, and I heard that coyotes and wolves ...