Andrew enters the blogging world
Good evening folks and welcome to my blog. I’m pretty new to this so I guess I’ll start off telling you about myself, my background, and what I’m going to blog about.
1985-2005 (My Formative Years)
I was brought into this world with calving chains and a head snare in September of 1985 in a little hospital in central Saskatchewan. My father operates a mixed farm with the primary focus on cattle (and flooding these past few years) and my mother is a retired teacher. One thing they instilled in me from an early age was work, work, and a little more work. In my single digit years we were a true mixed farm. We grew wheat, barley, canola, and some oats and triticale for good measure. On the animal side we had cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, and few god forsaken peacocks (we can talk about those !?&$*%! things later). As I grew older I realized what I really loved about the farm life was the cattle. The pigs and the grain were alright but I loved the immediate response and subsequent satisfaction that came from working with cattle. My years in 4H reinforced and helped develop this. By the time high school came to an end I knew my career would be cattle.
I started at Lakeland College in Vermilion AB in the fall of 2003 and it was an adventure. I was enrolled in Livestock Production but I majored in Alcohol Consumption. Although I partied hard and left without a diploma, it was far from a waste. I got a lot of good hands on experience and was one of my first opportunities to see into facets of the industry outside of cow/calf production.
2005-2013 (The Feedlot Years)
In May of 05 I started my first post college job: feedlot processing. It was an 18,000 head yard just south of my home town. I processed for 5 months before being sent down to the hospital barn. This is where my real education began. I was dumped in during the fall run with minimal help and zero guidance. Doctoring ain’t easy when you have to figure it all out from scratch. Lucky for me though, the head honchos enlisted the services of a world renowned veterinarian to come in and guide our health program. I spent the next three years learning and working and by the time I was done I felt pretty confident in my doctoring skills. In 2008, I decided it was time to move on up to the big leagues. After weeks of scouring the Western Producer classifieds, I found my next dream job, Health Manager at Easterday Farms. So I moved to southern Alberta and it was here where I learned about lung scoring, acclimation, and low stress handling. Under the guidance of Dr. Tom Noffsinger, I learned the value of providing a superior level of guidance and care for cattle. In May of 2011 I made the move across the line to continue working for Easterdays at their feedlot in southeast Washington. For the past 2 years I’ve worked as a feedlot doctor and learned about the relationship between “hot rations” and respiratory disease, continued my understanding of low stress handling, and drank some American beer (also called water).
My Future and my Blog
As my time in America comes to an end, I look forward to my next big step. I will be heading back to feedlot work in Canada for a few years and finally settling back on the home quarter and live a quiet existence raising cows. I also hope to blog about my day to day life, cattle, and how country music is no damn good anymore. I feel with the rise of social media, animal rights groups have grown exponentially and given the public their own biased opinion of animal agriculture. I hope that sharing my story can provide the consumer with more balanced and truthful information and hopefully help instill some confidence in our industry.
Andrew enters the blogging world