What a good looking branding crew! This past weekend neighbors, family, and friends came out to our farm to help my family process our calves.

We got an early start Saturday morning by saddling the horses and grabbing a coffee. Then we hit the ground running.

The crew started by gathering the cow-calf pairs on horseback, and then we sorted the cows from the calves.

Keeping the animals as quiet and calm as possible is always a top priority whenever we work with our cattle. For that reason, we kept one cow with the calves when we separated them from their moms to help keep them settled.

Everyone else promptly showed up at 10 o'clock and were assigned jobs.

All the calves are given a CCIA tag when we brand, which stands for Canadian Cattle Identification Agency. They're RFID tags that look like little yellow buttons, and are used to track the cattle throughout the supply chain.

The calves are also vaccinated, so they can grow big and healthy. At the end of the day, we sell our calves by the pound in the fall. Making sure the calves stay healthy economically makes sense because healthy calves consistently gain weight. Another reason we vaccinate is because producers take great pride in making sure their livestock have the best care.

Read more about processing the ag news.

Brandings show how tightly knit the farming community really is. Everyone will show up to help their neighbors process calves and stick around for some beverages and a fantastic feast afterwards. And you can't forget about the chocolate pie!

As many cattle producers in the Foothills will agree, it was a tough winter calving cows in the cold weather that seemed like it would never end, but watching these healthy calves pair up with their mothers and head out to the field on a beautiful spring day, was a moment where we could take a step back and be proud of those long hours and nights we spent caring for the animals.

I would love to see a picture of your branding crew this year! You can send them to our AM 1140 or Sun Country Facebook pages, or email them to [email protected] so we can share them on our social media.

For those of you that have a branding coming up, we wish you a safe and fun time with friends and family.

And for those farmers now out in the fields, Happy planting!


-Jessica Giles


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