"memory is our only defense against the loss of time"

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cattle Calls

Late afternoon sitting on our deck on Church Hill in Lanesboro with the Eric and his son Evan, we could hear the distant mournful bellowing of cattle under stress. For a farmer who practices good animal husbandry, stressed animals are a bad thing, but at some point the stress cannot be avoided. Eventually the cattle must be taken from their rolling green grass flowery hillsides of Fillmore County to the Sales Barn on the east edge of Lanesboro, where they are sold and trucked to packing houses or small locker plants to be turned into steaks. Because the cattle in Fillmore and Houston Counties are generally grass fed and raised as humanely as possible, they bring a premium of about 40% or more over the corn fed factory feedlot cattle. It also means that the hamburgers and steaks in Lanesboro taste pretty damned good.

In the transfer of animals from trucks to pens to bigger trucks, occasionally a few cattle escape and spend a while roaming the backyards of Lanesboro, hiding out in the the wooded hillsides of town. Eric said that one time a herd of 33 made one last mad dash for freedom. Most of them were soon gathered up, but a few wandered round town for a day or two. The last one spent three days off his backyard happily munching grass and standing up to his belly in the South Branch of the Root River staying cool. Eric said everyone was asked to call if they saw any of the cattle, but he was damned if he was going to help them take away that last few days of pleasure.  See movie: The Great Escape.

3 comments:

Doug said...

In 2009 we camped east of town during a bike tour. It wasn't far from the sales barn. It was a very noisy night with disturbing sounds coming from stressed cows.

Gunnar Berg said...

I'll bet. Up on the hill where we are the sounds are very faint, actually kind of nice in a distant, plaintive way.

Gunnar Berg said...

And Doug, next time camp in our guest room.