Well, the weatherman wasn’t too far off because we did get a little snow last week. Fortunately, it came with some much needed rain and all the newbies seemed to handle things just fine.

Calving is moving right along. The ET calves are starting to get wrapped up, and the natural service should be starting any day. There have been red, blacks, Herefords, and grays so far. It kind of looks like a Texas herd, just missing some longer ears.

The highlight for me this week was that my little longhorn made his presence. He is an absolutely adorable white and red speckled calf whom I’m sure will get very tired of being photographed all of the time.

This last week was just a little bit different because Thursday we had Neogen and Coin In A Log Creative out for the day and on into Friday morning. We have been working with Neogen over the last year on the Igenity Program where we send in tissue samples from our cattle to get genomic data. We took it a step further and provided them with over 20,000 cattle records, giving us even more data with their new Igenity Enhanced Program.

Neogen had asked a month ago about coming out for a day of filming and talking about the two programs. I’m always a little hesitant about publicity until they mentioned that there was going to be drone footage involved that we could use on our own website.

I should have had no hesitations whatsoever. The day ended up being a blast.

The video team, plus a couple Neogen staffers arrived at the ranch early Thursday and met the Right Hand and I as we faux moved some cows around the pasture. The new pony adjusted to the drone hovering pretty well. He continued to pose every time it came near even though it sounded like a nest of angry killer wasps.

After videoing and photographing pairs we moved onto a group of yearling steers that are on grass still, and then the video crew went to find a location to shoot an interview.

After the interview we headed up to the North Place to tag and weigh some of the newbies and do a drive along video. The next morning we headed to Antioch where I have a group of steers on feed.

The steers were a lot more curious to the drone hovering than the bison were in the neighboring pens. Finally, we bid the crew farewell as they headed back to Missouri.

What did I learn?

Well, I think the biggest takeaway is that it’s important to show what goes on in our operation. I was told if there is anything we didn’t want to show just to let them know. It’s always been extremely important to me that we are completely transparent with our practices and why we do things the way we do. Where the challenge comes is sometimes in the explanation.

Do we know why we do things the way we do? Have we really analyzed some of the practices to make sure they are in the best interest of the livestock, land and legacy? Can we defend them to those that may not have any understanding of the industry?

The other main takeaway is while the pony may be photogenic, I am not so much. I have way too much temptation when a camera is in my face to stick out my tongue or make inappropriate gestures or noises. Fortunately, I doubt they will be releasing a blooper reel, and I am very excited to see the finished product.

Maybe this is the predecessor to the Wilson Ranch reality series. It will include one-liners from the Boss Man, the Business Partner running away from the cameras, while meanwhile the pony and Holy Terror will be completely worthless for all the posing they will be doing. Meanwhile, I’ll probably be at the feedlot making dirt angels.

Jaclyn Wilson is more than a rancher, raising Red Angus cattle at Wilson Ranch near Lakeside, Nebraska. She’s an artist with a welder’s torch. She holds leadership positions with several agriculture organizations. She can be reached at jaclyn@flyingdiamondgenetics.com.   

Jaclyn Wilson raises Red Angus cattle at Wilson Ranch near Lakeside, Nebraska. Send comments to her at jaclyn@flyingdiamondgenetics.com.