BEEF Daily

Readers Share Their Best Of The Worst Ranch Moments


Here are 10 interesting reader-submitted comments on, “You might be having a bad day on the ranch if...”

Last week, I shared my top 15 signs you might be having a bad day on the ranch. Admittedly, when I compiled the list, I realized it might be a little reminiscent of comedian Jeff Foxworthy's "you might be a redneck" schtick, but I figured my bad days were probably a lot like some of yours. It turns out I was right, and in BEEF Daily reader fashion, many of you weighed in on the many ways your day hasn’t gone quite right on the ranch.

And, just like a video reel on “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” where you know the guy is going to get hurt, you can’t help but chuckle a little bit at the bloopers on TV. The same goes for some of the reader stories shared in last week’s blog post.

So, without further ado, here is a roundup of the best of the worst ranch moments shared by readers:

1. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “you see the water break on a good heifer on Saturday night about the time you and wife are going to town for a nice meal.” -- Anonymous

2. You might be having a bad day on the ranch when, “I slipped and fell down when stepping over the fence; I couldn’t get off the fence fast enough.” -- Bob Voegeli

3. You might be having a bad day on the ranch when, “I forgot to close a gate after moving the cattle and soon all the cattle were running around the yard near the house." -- Dawn Butzer

4. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “you're walking through mud when your boot gets stuck by suction, comes off and you step with your bare foot." -- Nebraska farm/ranch wife

5. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “an infield breaks down and while you’re either survey situation or trying to fix the problem, you discover you’re standing or lying in red ants! Yipps!” -- Dr. Cathy

6. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “the sheriff calls and asks if you own a particular colored bull near the highway.” -- Rodney Eckhardt

7. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “you're working a big bunch of cattle, and you miss catching the last one through the squeeze chute, so you have to go sort her out and re-pen her. Or, you've sorted a cow out of a group, and are bringing her to the barn....right as she gets to the last gate, she turns, and zips back off to the group before you can stop her. Or, the power goes out in the middle of working a group of cattle through your hydraulic squeeze chute.” -- Patty F

8. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “you catch your favorite pair of jeans on a barbwire fence as you’re climbing over.” -- Anonymous.

9. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “you’re putting a cow back in the pen while you’re on your way to a job interview, and your panty hose falls down.” --Nicole

10. You might be having a bad day on the ranch if, “your ground hay pile catches fire. You push the burning portion into the driveway to save the rest. You try to put it out, to no avail. Eureka! Load it in the feed wagon and dump it in the muddy pen to the cows, so they can clean it up. Bury said feed wagon and tractor up to the axles with a load of smoldering ground hay. Bad day.” -- Warren Symens

One of the common themes among readers who weighed in on this discussion was that the benefits of living on a farm or ranch far outweigh those days when things just don’t go as planned. With less than 2% of people in the U.S. directly involved in production agriculture, our working days are pretty unique.

So, whether the cows get out, or you break down, or you get stuck in the mud, remember that you could be sitting in a cubicle somewhere. So, breathe in the fresh air and know that you’re lucky to be in agriculture. I’ll take the good and the bad; I’m still happy to be in the cattle business.

Do you have more “bad” days to add to our list? How about we look on the bright side of things. What makes a great day on the ranch? Help me create a list of those perfect moments in agriculture that make the bad days worthwhile. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 7

wesmetzker (not verified)
on May 21, 2013

when im having a bad day i just like to to sit back and drink a cold adult beverage and watch the calves feed on their mommas.that always makes me realize how much GOD has blessed my family and how lucky we are to be doing this for a living.

Andrea (not verified)
on May 21, 2013

You get up to hear birds twitter on the porch, discover they're building a nest, go back inside and look out at the sunrise, drink coffee, feed the dogs, walk past newly baled hay, see a blue heron over the pond, and thank God for good health.

Anonymous from MO (not verified)
on May 21, 2013

I can identify with most of the comments and "bad day" items. I also agree the positives outweigh the negatives... I'm so glad God has allowed us to continue farming!

However, just this last week my teenage daughter had a "bad day" I just have to share. I teach college and career Sunday School at our church. A bunch of college students came over to help us work cattle and to see how farming is done. My daughter, who is always trying to impress the college students climbed over a gate, right as we are starting, caught her new jeans, and ripped them from hip to lower thigh. Oh the embarrassment! We were a mile from home and any change of clothes, and I couldn't let her take the truck at that time.
To her credit, she pulled her shirt down over the worst of it and kept working. But, she got what she always wants...the college kids really noticed her!

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 21, 2013

I can sure relate to item #4 from the Nebraska lady. I'll bet she lives in the NE part of the state and was sorting cows in the spring muck!! I've been there done that!!

RODNEY ECKHARDT (not verified)
on May 21, 2013

I thought today was really going to be bad when my phone rang at 1:30 a.m. this morning . It was the sheriff department saying someone had an accident and hit two cows near one of my leased places. I rushed out there and luckily they were not my cows. I will be checking fences today on all places near main highways. After all this ,I still thank God for all we have and for being able to ranch. P.S. I WISH HE WOULD SEND SOME RAIN.

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 21, 2013

The crunch of hooves on the driveway at 2AM is always a dreaded sound. Beautiful evenings lit with the waning sun watching lambs play as their mommas graze, or baby pigs racing and finding their new legs, or watching my kids working with each other to get their chores done are the blessings I hold dear and remind me how lucky I am! Beats the city any day!

Tom Smith (not verified)
on May 21, 2013

You know you're having a bad day on the ranch when you are trying to load an ornery Brangus bull when he turns around, puts his head under the pipe panel you are using for a gate (baling wire hinges, of course), breaks the bottom wire and causes you to fall onto the panel that is now laying across his neck!
Or when, as a teenager learning to run our first round baler (we had had it 2 weeks), looking back to see it on fire, backing it into the nearby pond and getting the tractor stuck in the mud. Although we got the fire put out, the bale swelled with water and we had a lot of trouble getting it out of the baler.
Or roping a wild hog and, as it turns in your direction, seeing your partner's loop miss . . .

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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