Meet Ferd...& Jeff

Updated: Jun 13, 2021

Along with prize winning hogs, great grandpa Jack also raised cattle on the family homestead. We believe that Jack sold his cattle to help his son (Grandpa Joe) buy the property that became my father-in-law's boyhood home. It is just around the corner from the Jackson homestead. Although the acreage between the two homes is now wooded, it was once beautiful, lush green, & rolling pasture. Prior to Scott enlisting in the Air Force, he & his dad raised Simmental cattle for several years. For nearly 10 years, Scott showed both their cattle and hogs in 4-H.

After playing & working with cattle when we lived in South Dakota, Scott & I knew there would come a time that we would introduce cattle to the homestead once again. In the last 10 years, we have had a few that found their way to freezer camp. The first meal with our own farm raised beef, Kaycee (maybe 5 at the time) thanked Buford for the yummy food he provided & for nourishing our bodies. My attempts to cook burger and roasts more often than steaks were futile. After running out of steak, we found ourselves eating at a steakhouse. When asked about her restaurant steak, Kaycee was quick to exclaim that "it's pretty good, but it's no Buford". Yes, that girl has always been grateful for the sacrifice of the steer named Buford.

In late October 2019, I shared a random Facebook photo of a mini highlander. Low and behold, a classmate saw my post & got me in contact with her daughter who had one for sale as her family couldn't take it when they moved. Ferd(inand) was a bull calf gifted to the daughter by her new husband on their wedding day in October 2018. On November 2, 2019, Ferd became our forever pet (not to ever confused with our previous freezer campers).

In the summer of 2020, our justification as to why we don't keep livestock in our front 9 acres became a reality. Memories of my dad's hereditary cardiac issues got my heart jumping out of my chest when a neighbor called telling me we have a loose cow. (First of all, we don't have a cow, only a bull. Quick lesson: a cow is a female that has had a calf, a bull is an intact male, a steer is no longer a bull, a heifer is a female that hasn't had a calf yet, & cattle is the generalization of them all). When I received the call, I was about a mile from home. As I approach our lane, I see Ferd wandering the unfenced, front 9 acre hayfield. Before I got the call, someone had come to the house to let us know about our escapee. Kaycee ran back to the back 20 acres to get Scott where he was harvesting hay. The turd had pushed over a fence in the barn lot. Bad Ferd! Surprisingly, Ferd came right up to me to coax him back the direction from which he came. Scott & Kaycee met me half way with a bucket of feed & Ferd just followed them back to his pen. Yes, I know, a halter would have been easier. Ummm... but Ferd has grown exponentially & outgrew his old halter. Folks, it is important to have (1) excellent farm insurance as this situation could have turned disastrous as a highway goes right in front our 9 acres; and (2) keep various sizes of halters for different stages of growth.

In late summer 2020, young steer Jeff was moved from dad's place to our farm. Ferd & Jeff bonded quickly & has been good company for Ferd. When Kaycee suggested Jeff needed his own blog, I told her he didn't have enough story about him. She asked what Ferd had that Jeff doesn't. Gee, lets' see... personality, balls, & horns... just to name a few. Kaycee didn't like the mention of #2, so of course I teased her for hours about them.

While Ferd is 1/2 mini highland and 1/2 mini Hereford, there is nothing "mini" about him. In fact he has grown to more of a smaller statured, standard bull. We love him nonetheless!

We are still in the market for Ferd's girlfriend. If there were such a thing as a dating site for cattle, Ferd would say something like this:

Ruggedly handsome, single, sexually frustrated bull looking for heifer or cow. Love walks in the pasture, eating the best homegrown hay, neck & tail rubs, standing in the snow, & using up my owners' finances. Heifer/cow cannot have allergies to humans, horses, goats, pigs, chickens, cats, or dogs. She must be cute, have good hips, & be able to hold a comb as my current owner often neglects her grooming duties.

'Til next time folks!

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