Dr. Dave Barz: Don’t complain with your mouth full | TSLN.com

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Dr. Dave Barz: Don’t complain with your mouth full

South Dakota's cattle producers know how to select for meat traits, Dave Barz, DVM, says. Courtesy photo

Calving should improve now that we have received our April snowstorm. All things were progressing nicely until todays four to five inches of snow. Warm weather is due to follow so hopefully the wet cold conditions won't last too long. Remember my axiom for calving, "Keep them warm and keep them dry." I'm afraid I was already in the springtime mode and had to go home for my long johns so I could survive the day.

During the snow, we were working some cattle at the salebarn for a bred sale. At lunch time, I went to McDonald's for a bite to eat. As I was drawing up my chilled drink a man in a heavy stocking cap, winter coat and pac boots was stirring honey into his giant coffee mug. I must have looked like a local because he asked me, 'When does spring come here?" I could have been smart and said, "March 21, just like everywhere else in the northern hemisphere," but I noted he was not familiar with the extreme weather changes here in South Dakota. I told him spring will be here tomorrow when the temperature climbs back into the sixties. He seemed more concerned about today and the temps in the lower thirties. In conversation, he mentioned he was on his way to San Diego. I've been there once and it was hot and humid. I told him I was much happier here, but we do have hot weather in the summer. I would guess these travelers are also the people having trouble managing the interstate road conditions.

What were the positives of the snow storm encounter?

I had a great lunch that that gave me the chance to interact with an individual from outside of our area. We all need to do more promotion of agriculture as a whole. Most people dream of farming and ranching. We are the lucky ones. We get to live our dreams every day.

I enjoy my occupation and working at the livestock market. We all enjoy sharing our highlights as well as our trials and tribulations with friends and neighbors. It is great that South Dakota has such an outstanding auction market network, but also such a positive attitude for the livestock industry.

Even in an April snowstorm the northern prairie is a great place to live. We are a very small portion of the population and we like it that way, but we must produce food for the rest of the country and the world. We raise the best and we are darn good at it. We all need to promote ourselves and our products to gain the rewards we deserve and to allow the lifestyle we love to continue. There are a few groups very critical of agriculture. I saw a bumper sticker years ago that read, "Don't complain with your mouth full." Let's all remain positive and continue to live our dream.