Cody was up and out the door by 7:00am with a load of cattle, headed to the sales yard. Jim & I had a few steers and heifers to sell but the main reason to go was to sell Cody's steer. He had picked out a steer, last fall, for the Palouse Empire Fair. He had fed it, halter broke it, and been his buddy since last November. Last month, when fair time came, Cody decided that the steer was not quite finished yet. He weighed enough to make the cut but he didn't have quite enough fat to make a good steak! So instead of just taking him to the fair and selling an inferior product into our food system, my boy did the right thing and held him back to finish out. Cody missed out on showing and competing but like he said, "This is what producing cattle has taught me. Your name is only as good as the finished product."
Cody sat at that sale and patiently waited for his steer to come through the sales ring. And he waited, and waited...........and waited. He waited for 7 1/2 hours and still no steer. He could see the steer in the pen, RIGHT NEXT TO THE SALE RING GATE but still it didn't come through! Finally, Harold Johnson (thank you, thank you!) hollered at the chute guys
" Hey! Get that boys steer in here! He has been waiting 8 hours!!"
The steer came into the ring as calm as could be. Remember this steer was halter broke and loved people! He didn't come in all wild eyed and try to eat the ring men, or scale over the ring like most do. He sauntered in and stood there. When the ring man paddled him to get him to move around he just looked at him. I think the steer finally saw Cody and just stood there and looked at him with bewilderment.
All the cattle buyers took this as a sign that the steer might be injured or sick. He just stood there and looked at Cody. The bidding started and the final price was .51 cents a pound. Thank you Grandma Elaine for hollering "Owner NO-SALE! We are taking him home!!" At that price Cody realized he couldn't have even paid for the grain he had fed him! So we loaded him up and headed home. After we feed him for a few weeks,
to get back the weight he lost while standing in a pen for 9 hours,
we will have a beef available if anyone needs one for their freezer!
Cody asked me, " If you can't even break even, why would anyone raise cattle?!
Son, that is the eternal question that ALL cattlemen ask themselves!!
Driving home tonight, I was trying to think of what 'life lesson' this might of taught Cody.
The only thing I can figure was ---
1- Don't show up too early
2- Don't sell too late
3- Every once in awhile, even if you did the right thing,......