PPR Paul Orr

Paul Orr of Orr Farms in North Platte, Midwest Messenger Producer Progress Reporter

North Platte, Nebraska

The sun continues to rise. It is life as usual here on Orr farm. At this time in history, it seems like a blessing to be self-sufficient.

Today we fixed up some old farm fuel tanks that happened to be on an old place that we bought a while back. It looks like a good time to stockpile some of this inexpensive diesel fuel.

The weather has been ideal for calving. Fifty-degree days and lows in the 20s and 30s is perfect in my book. The Sandhill cranes have arrived in the valley just like they have for centuries. I guess this is their breeding ground and season. I always see them dancing out in the fields. On the weekend of March 8, we got a taste of spring with 70-degree days. Last weekend, of course, we got a blanket of snow. So my friend Dustin and I are planning a trip for the next favorable day we get. We will kayak down the North Platte River and find an island somewhere along the way to spend the night with the cranes. The cranes seem to congregate in the river channel at night.

With the absence of any pressing field work, it could be a good time to head up to the hills and do some fencing. Yesterday I actually got calls from a couple of friends that are looking for temporary work. So labor shouldn’t be a problem.

My brother and I stopped at a bull sale at the fairgrounds on Saturday. The prices were clearly down. I am concerned for bull producers who still have sales this spring. Especially my brother, whose sale is in less than three weeks. I hope people keep their heads up and can see the sun peeking through the clouds. It’s going to be green pastures and all those happy cows are going to need bulls before we know it.

Remember that our grandparents and great-grandparents fought through the Depression and the Dust Bowl not that long ago. From all the people I’ve known and talked to in the past that made it, I’ve gathered a few truths. They did not buy into fear. They worked harder with an unwavering hope for blessings yet to come. In the words of the old man sitting in the wicker chair on the porch: “Always keep looking forward.” — Paul Orr