NewsMay 20 2015

To cancel or not cancel branding, that is the torturing question

Posted by Lucy

By Amy Kirk

A rancher who has to decide whether or not to cancel his branding is a perfect illustration of what a tortured man looks like.
Such a difficult decision is based on a variety of variables. It could be due to rain or snowfall the morning of branding day or heavy rain the night before making the roads and branding corrals too soupy and muddy to brand or even get to the branding corrals. Furthermore, more than a 50 percent chance for more rain or snow predicted compounds indecisiveness.
The decision to cancel a branding can be troublesome for the command decision maker. What looks like someone agonizing over deciding whether to unleash a nuclear war head is actually the body language of a ranch decision maker stewing over whether to go to through with his branding or cancel it. Sometimes it’s a hard call to make because there are many things at stake in making such a decision.
 Canceling has a domino effect on decisions and considerations to be made and the conflicts with rescheduling around the other brandings already set. The month of May especially, is usually booked solid with brandings every weekend and some on weekdays.
The first factor to consider cancelling is that wet hides on calves don’t brand up well. The biggest concern is taking into account how the calves will recover after getting branded, vaccinated, and castrated once they’re turned out if it’s overly rainy and muddy. The branding crew that shows up to help is also taken into account. Having enough people show up is highly depended on regardless when the branding takes place. Brandings need fly-taggers, vaccine gun runners, branders, cutters, and a lot of capable, able-bodied calf wrestlers. If a branding is canceled there’s always concern over whether enough people will make it to the rescheduled branding date.
 Rescheduling isn’t easy since every ranch picks a weekend to brand and usually keeps the same weekend every year. If one gets cancelled, branding back-to-back after someone else’s branding is doable, but makes for a longer day and sometimes not as many people show up. Brandings require a lot of people helping and usually the same crew of people show up to help every year. Brandings are dependent on the people who traditionally do a specific job every year and these people become highly valued and counted on.
There’s a lot of planning involved in order for neighbors to accommodate each other’s brandings so if someone has to cancel it can make rescheduling around the others a challenge since these springtime events usually take place on weekends. Delaying one’s branding whether for the next day or next week means extending the agony, stress, worry, and anxiety that builds prior to the big day. Knowing whose branding will get rained out is a crapshoot every year.
One concern that can have a damaging effect is muddy roads getting tore up from pickups and trailers driving on them to get to the branding corrals. Then there’s the minor detail of the food made up ahead in order to feed everybody who helped. Any food that can’t be frozen likely won’t keep, depending on when the branding gets rescheduled for. The cost and work involved to cook enough food to feed everyone is also figured into the equation; at least for the cook.
Branding time is proof that it’s not just women who can’t make up their minds.

NewsMay 13 2015

GLF host successful Spring event

Posted by Lucy

Gary Grittner (left) and his wife Connie present GLF chairman Herb Sundall with a check for $25,000, the amount they committed to the Foundation if the group could raise $50,000 within two years. The Foundation accepted the challenge at the 2014 Spring Event and exceeded the challenge by raising the $50,000 in just one year. The Grittner’s were among approximately 140 people who attended the 4th annual GLF event held at the Kennebec gym Saturday, May 9.

NewsMay 13 2015

Lyman School election set for June 16

Posted by Lucy

Four citizens of the Lyman School District have filed nominating petitions for three 3-year terms up for election on the Lyman Board of Education this year.

Incumbents Meta Halverson, Kennebec, and Mike Chester, Vivian, along with two new candidates, Matt Collins of Kennebec and Rollie Crospsey of Presho have filed for the Tuesday, June 16th election.

Current board member and chairwoman, Marlene Reuman is not seeking re-election.

Potential voters living in the Lyman School District have until June 1, 2015 to register to vote in the school election. If you are in doubt about whether you are registered, check the Voter Information Portal at or call the county auditor at 605-869-2247.

NewsMay 06 2015

Flowers for the young at heart

Posted by Lucy

Viola Reuer (left) of Reliance was among the crowd that attended the annual open house at Anderson Greenhouse hosted by Jean and Lee Anderson Saturday, May 2nd. At age 93 Viola doesn’t garden as much as she used to, but she loves flowers and picked out a few blooming plants and a new rose bush to plant outside her rural farm home.

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