Column: Rancher’s mantra: calving season

Column: Rancher’s mantra: calving season

Shanna Jordan’s Rancher’s Wife column speaks on the long hours of calving season

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I came across a photo by Rustic Rose of their graphic T-shirt with the inscription “Sorry I can’t, it’s calving season” written in black across the chest.

If that T-shirt hadn’t have been priced just outside of my farm-wife budget I’m pretty sure I would have bought it that second. Perhaps the shirt charmed me the way it did because that slogan has been far too relatable lately. We’re only two weeks into calving season on the Jordan Ranch and I’ve already heard that very saying come out of my husband’s mouth more times than I can count.

If I’m being completely honest, I’ve been awaiting the arrival of calving season with a less-than-eager attitude for the last few months.

I’ve had this image in my head of three zombie ranchers running on four hours of sleep and twenty-hour work days, surviving on nothing but a hope for good weather.

Two weeks in, and I can tell you that my imagination wasn’t too far off of our current reality. Pens that were full of fat cows mere days ago are now overflowing with energetic little calves, and our three ranchers have been out all hours of the day and night ensuring every calf is safe in the midst of this February cold spell.

The words “I’m tired” have officially become off limits, since the beginning of calving season also marks the beginning of the ‘Who’s more tired?’ competition.

Being the only one on the farm who doesn’t actually have to face the gruelling physical and mental work of calving season, I usually arrive home after my day at the office ready for my day to begin, while the men just want their days to end.

My energy and readiness for some excitement is often met with weary ranchers reciting the farm’s new mantra “Sorry, I can’t, it’s calving season.”

Now that both the Jordan brothers are working full-time on the farm along with their dad, each of the three men can take a much-needed evening off every once in a while, which certainly does help to keep spirits up (especially mine).

Despite all of my complaining, I do admire their dedication to the animals. Rather than an excuse, the words, “sorry I can’t, it’s calving season”, have become a testament to their willingness to sacrifice their own social lives and physical well-being for the sake of the farm. As hard and exhausting as calving season can be, if you asked Mr. J, I believe he’d tell you no matter how many times he has to say “no” to an invitation, the rewards of this lifestyle are worth it.

At the very least I can be thankful that while the Jordan ranch is on a calving season lock-down for the next three months, those cute little calves will keep me and my camera pretty well occupied, and perhaps even keep me from the temptation of purchasing that T-shirt.