Life at the Feedyard with Ryan Goodman

October 19, 2010 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

Via the Working Ranch Blog

Pies! Have I told ya’ll how much I love pies? Coconut cream, pecan, chocolate, cherry, pumpkin; my list of favorites goes on and on. As a kid, I was always tagging along when my father went to the cattle auctions so I have great appreciation for those great sale barn cooks out there. Still every time I travel home, my grandmother makes sure I have some sort of pie during my time there. I was reminded of these great memories at work the other day. We have a café at the yard, so the office always smells of great food in the mornings.

Life at the feedyard is staying busy, but busy sure keeps me out of trouble! Receiving and processing cattle is a full-time job at a yard with 65,000+ cattle. Many mornings I start my day counting freshly printed tags. 20 to a bundle, sometimes 15 bundles to a group. It is safe to say I get much practice counting from one to twenty.

I also get plenty of practice counting when unloading cattle trucks. I generally count every load of cattle twice. Not because I am unsure of my count, rather because if I miscount, it’s $700+ for every head I miscount that the feedyard has to make-up. Receiving cattle is interesting because I get to talk with truck drivers from across the country. I have met some very interesting guys, and during silage harvest there were many people with British accents, but I was assured they were not from England.

In my spare time, (as if there is much of that when working with cattle!) I take care of keeping the receiving/shipping areas clean, including dust control in the alleys and chutes. This is where I get to have fun on the skid steer loader. Driving in and around those alleys can be quite a task. Get too close to the fence and I knock out a post, but not close enough and I create more shovel work for myself. It is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

At the end of the day, when all of my paperwork is complete and tomorrow’s schedule is complete, I get to head home where I eat a quick meal and head to bed. No, actually life is not that boring. I have a new border collie pup to keep me entertained and plenty of people to keep in touch with. It is no life on the ranch with young colts to work and calves to feed, but life in town is a learning experience. I’ll just keep learning and think about that day in the future when I find myself back on the ranch.

What’s life like around your neck of the woods? Are you as dry and dusty as we are here in Texas or my family in Arkansas? Give me a shout! Send an email ( or find me on Facebook and Twitter!
Until next time,


The opinions expressed in the above post represent the thoughts and feelings of the blogger, and not necessarily NYFEA as a whole.



Entry filed under: Featured Articles, Featured Farmers. Tags: , , , , , .

From Buzzard’s Beat: In Honor of Pigs and Pork From Michele Payn-Knoper: Local Food, Locavores & Hungry People

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