Rural Women: Called to Keep Cattle
In honor of International Day Of Rural Women, today we are spotlighting Ann Rother, a cattle farmer from Belgrade, Nebraska.
Like many farm kids, Ann grew up working on the family farm. “I remember being young, and I had a cow my Dad let me pick from his herd to start my own. We called her Number 78. She would have a calf, and if it was a heifer, I would keep her so I could build my herd. By the end of high school, I had 20 to 30 head.”
After high school, Ann received a degree in Diversified Ag with a minor in Agronomy and Animal Science from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She made her way back home to help on the family farm and manage the red angus cattle herd.
Today, Ann has 150 head of her own cattle. “I love my freedom and the flexibility that being your own boss provides. Plus, there’s no better place to raise a family.
She’s always had a good intuition when it comes to cattle. “You can just read them like people can read other people.” She chuckled, “The cattle can read you too.They can sense if you are afraid, and they might just decide to come after you!”
It’s not all butterflies and rainbows though. “They get out when it’s convenient for them. I don’t know how they always know when it’s Sunday, or when everyone is gone, but they do!”
Ann remembers fondly, “When I was young, probably about 12, it was calving season. Dad sent me out to check cows on the place he grew up.
“There was a cow in the thickets. It was Number Five, and she was a you-know-what. I knew not to walk through the thickets to check on her.
“I could tell she was calving and saw some feet, so I left. When I got home, Dad asked how many babies there were. My response was, ‘Two and a half.’”
“He asked, ‘What the heck do you mean by ‘a half’?’”
“Well, #5 was in the thickets.” He went back that night and had to rope her and pull the calf. I’m not sure he thought it was that funny back then, but we laugh about it now.
Ann has children of her own now – 3 boys and a girl. “My kids each have a cow too. Their cow runs with the herd, and they are expected to help when we need them.
“I haven’t taught them tractors yet,” she laughed. “They’re a lot different than they were when I was a kid. They can drive 4-wheelers though, so they are pretty handy helping round up when we move cattle.”
Ann has put down roots in rural Nebraska, and is happy to be a rural woman.
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