Whom ever started the saying “in like a Lion, out like a Lamb” needs to have their head stuck into a snow bank… That wind today sucked all that spring time happy feeling out of me and replaced it with winter hating bone chilling ear ache madness…
A hint of spring came upon us today, but it came on a brisk south wind actually making the day feel cold! Both fans ran today to keep the temperature down and kept the bees holding patiently. The outdoor temp got up to 5 degrees C this afternoon for about an hour, then dropped back down to 0 again. The fans kept the shed temp nicely at 6-7 degrees C all day long. The forecast looks promising with nice weather near the end of next week. BeeMaid called and my order is ready to be picked up. I’ll make a trip in to Winnipeg this week so that I have everything on hand ready for the season to start again.
The third annual Steppler Farms Bull Sale was a barn burner! Not a chair in the house, standing room only! Before the sale Andre had interest from 32 purebred cattle producers jockeying over our elite bulls, 18 of them came to the sale and fought over the top end of the bull pen. To start the sale we had half the sales staff on cell phones with out of Provence/country bidders who WANTED these bulls. The first bull in the ring, lot #6 sold to Beck Farms, Milestone SK. for $28,000, the second bull in the ring, lot #4 sold to Lane Bina, North Dakota for $28,500, Lot #3 sold to Wrangler Charolais for $17,000. In an hour and ten minutes we put through 63 bulls selling them at an average of $5850, third highest grossing Charolais sale in Canada so far. The auctioneer said as the last bull left the ring “bring me another bull to sell Dan… bring me another bull to sell!” A complement to Andre and Dad for their hard work selling these bulls and to the breeding program they have established. Exciting, exciting, exciting is all I can say about the sale yesterday! While working the load out after the sale I chatted to our customers and the best way I could describe them was excited and hyper!
Steppler Farms 3rd Annual Bull Sale Publicly available sales results;
45 Yearling bulls – $275,850 – $6130
18 Two year old bulls – $91,950 – $5108
63 Lots $367,800 $5838
Early this morning our auctioneer flew in and our sales management arrived preparing for the day. The bulls are being sorted as I type this, and Andre hasn’t got off the phone since who knows when. My brothers and I have done all we can in yard prep to help out, the rest lies in Andre’s and Dad’s hands now. Looks like we have been blessed with a Honey of a Day and cool, but our barn heater has been running since yesterday. I’m off to the cattle yards now, looking forward to a great day!
Today we invited over our entire operating sales staff and ran the bull through the bull sales facility. During the process we tagged all the animals with their sales tag number. The mock run was successful and once again proved its importance. While moving the bulls through we noticed three or four gate arrangements which caused the bulls to turn. After changing a few gates and adding a few more, we had the bulls walking up to the sales facility without any trouble. It is best to find these glitches before the sale day when we have the time to address the issues. The rest of the day was spent clearing snow and fussing over details. The forecast looks cold but clear and sunny, so we brought in the BIG diesel barn heater to keep our customers comfortable through the sale. To my kids surprise I booked a day off school on Tuesday so they can attend the sale.
I have been sneaking away into the welding shop every chance I get, trying to get these metal working projects completed before the bees are let out. By the looks of the forecast I might have some time.
One of my projects is a honey tank stand. The tank stand is designed to raise the tank so that a barrel can be placed under the tap. Within the stand I built in storage space to help manage the clutter around the barrel filling site. I built the stand with two forklift guides which will allow for easy movement of the tank. To sheet the stand I used sheet metal which was used to crate the Ezyloader during shipment. The stand is made from 3/8″ by 2″ by 2″ tubing left over from another farm project and I bought the aluminium door for $50. Estimated cost of construction is roughly $250 all in. Time well spent.