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From the Barns: Voting is a duty

In a little different twist for this month’s report, I’m writing from elk camp high in the mountains of New Mexico. My good neighbor, Larry Joe, and I join up with some good friends from Louisiana every chance we get and chase the wily Wapiti up at over 10,000 feet of altitude. That’s an annual heart stress test for a couple of “stocky,” less than in shape, late middle aged farmers from Illinois. We actually just got back to camp with a great elk Larry Joe harvested this morning.

Getting away for a few days and experiencing the solitude and beauty that is only found high up in the mountains is a true blessing and with all that’s happened in 2020 it’s been a welcome break. Getting away is always a challenge, but this year with the excellent harvest weather we’ve virtually finished our harvest in record time and are busy working cattle and getting after our fall manure application. We do have one field of corn to chop, but it is corn that we planted after wheat harvest and we will wait for the frost to finish it off first.

We have been planting wheat on corn acres as soon as we have been getting them harvested. We started the wheat planting in early August and with the moisture we received it has all germinated and will have a lot of growth to graze when the pastures get a little shorter. Running the chopping equipment on aerial seeded acres doesn’t work very well due to the tracking in the chopped fields, so we only use the plane where we will use a combine for harvest. On the acres where we run the chopper our local FS guys do our seeding with their airflow seeder.

Marketing out of the feedlot has been brisk, and we have also been placing new feeders regularly. So far, health has been great and hopefully will continue in spite of the warm days and cool nights that we are starting to experience.

With all the stress and challenges that we have all put up with this year we all have the right and responsibility to finish out the year with one act that will set the course for all of us for years to come. Voting is a privilege that we cannot take for granted. The freedoms we have in this country that allow us to do everything from elk hunting like Larry Joe and I to voting for whoever you darned well please are the envy of the whole world. Make sure you exercise your right to vote any way you choose. It’s my view that those who stay home and don’t vote give up their right to complain about the outcome.

Astoria, Ill.

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