Everyone has a story!
Back in the mid 80's some how my son, Tom, and I heard of the Beefalo breed. In the process of researching breeders we came across Bob and Elsie Hanson of Eagle, Idaho. At that point in time we had several head of Black Angus cows so we thought it would be a new venture to breed them to a Beefalo Bull. With that being the plan we purchased a bull from the Hansons. We named him Oliver.
I can't remember the exact month we went to Eagle, Idaho to bring Oliver home to Central Oregon. We went via the route to Burns and Ontario with the road being icy most of the way. I was driving a jeep wagoneer pulling a 3 horse trailer. We arrived safely at the Hanson Beefalo home. After several hours of visiting and asking many questions of the Hansons, we loaded Oliver into the trailer. One of Oliver's calves arrived the day before and we were pleased to see what he produced.
The day had pretty much ended and the snow had began to fly. We decided to stay in a motel for the night. The next morning when Tom checked on Oliver he was peacefully laying down in the horse trailer. With the snow on the ground we decided to return home by way of LaGrande and Biggs Junction. That put us coming down what is called Cabbage Patch Hill and was the snow ever deep. To this day when I look back I really do not know how we made it!
Time passed, Oliver produced nice calves but then family situations entered the picture and we could no longer keep the livestock. Sadly we had to sell Oliver. During part of that time period, Oliver had to stay on the farm in Molalla of which my brother-in-law, Bill Nightingale, was mainly the person to look after Oliver. Of course, Oliver wanted to rome the vast acreage and therefore Bill did not 'love' Oliver as much as Tom and I did. And Bill does have his own Oliver story!
Ever since that day Oliver left us I knew I wanted to begin raising Beefalo again--lets say it was put in my 'bucket'. Now at 25 years later I am getting to fill my 'bucket'. A little over a year ago I re-contacted the Hansons and told Elsie what I wanted to do once again only this time start with heifers. Several months later Elsie called and said she had two heifers for us and they would be bred. Anxiously waiting for pickup time, I drove to Idaho, taking my friend Nadine with me as co-pilot, to bring home two bred heifers on October 24, 2014. This time driving a Ford F-150 pulling a light aluminum stock trailer. Much better! It was nice to see Elsie and her son, Paul, once again ask many questions and see their herd of beefalo. Paul loaded the heifers and a safe trip to Central Oregon was made arriving about 4 p.m. The wind was blowing very hard and thank goodness Nadine's husband was waiting to help me unload. I was worried what the heifers reaction would be with the wind blowing and new surroundings all at once. But they unloaded easily and calmly stayed in their pasture area.
Our friends and neighbors were very interested in seeing what the heifers looked like. Being surprised that they looked like cows! We named the heifers Brownie and Lacy. They survived our cold winter very well being content in their pasture area. They have become very tame and never seem to get excited.
This morning I went to feed and to my surprise there was a new baby (photo on home page). Brownie had given birth about 7:00 a.m. and all had went well. The vet came and gave the necessary shot and checked the little one over saying the calf was very healthy. Of course pictures and text messages went to many of our friends and family showing the new arrival. Lacy is due next and when that day comes I will place her birth information in this story.
March 15, 2014. Sunday. Lacy the light colored heifer gave birth today at 12:05 of a perfect bull calf. I watch the whole process and Mother Nature is so amazing. Both of the cows are such good mothers. Since the first calf was named Curly the latest has been named Moe. And he is a real character! The picture gallery will continue with the venture.
This story is written in memory of Oliver.