There is no greater secret for success with keeping dairy cattle healthy and making them productive than feeding them top quality forages. I'm no forage expert, but over years of doctoring cattle, its undeniable that all things pertaining to the life of cattle starts with the grass and plants that feed them. In summary that's my most profound health commentary on cattle.
Cattle and other ruminants are uniquely created to turn the plant cell walls indigestible to people into usable food sources with the help of fermenting bacteria in their digestive tracts. Thinking of one of the most important plants whether its for feeding dairy cattle or performance horses here in the United States, one has to think of the legume crop alfalfa. Alfalfa originated in the area of ancient Persia and is recorded as being useful for feeding of horses and livestock as early as 490 B.C. It is one of a few crops that is grown in every state in the US. Besides livestock, it is hugely important in the production of US Honey, and is among the top producers of protein per acre. Alfalfa is drought resistant with roots that go 20 or even 30 feet deep into the soil, with varieties that grow over a wide range of climate temperatures.
The alfalfa seed is even smaller than the proverbial mustard seed, but what an important crop! Despite the size of the seed, put enough of them into a field and feed for entire herds is produced season after season. I was pondering little seeds and their potential effects this morning. One can certainly reference the parable of the mustard seed. My mind often drifts to animals, hence the thought of alfalfa. But, I was also considering how little seeds in the form of a few words from a friend, mentor, teacher, or even stranger at various points in our life make a huge impact on us, sometimes even years later. Sometimes they are words or acts of encouragement, sometimes tasks, chores, or routines of discipline. Some of them we remember throughout our lives, some pop back up at a random time. So that's my thought today ... what small seeds can we disperse today that may yield a harvest for someone in their season?
When we stop to reflect on memories like I did this one from about thirty years ago, its amazing how all the parts of our lives are woven together to make the whole picture. At the time though, most of us were probably not thinking about the way Robert Frost put it that, "Knowing that way leads on to way..." when we chose which path to take or when we spoke some seeds into someone else's "yellow wood." As this is my first blog update since we updated our site to reflect our vision for service in Haiti, I am also inclined to consider how each seed of support, regardless of the size can grow into someone's bountiful harvest. So consider supporting our work in any way you can, or drop some change into the bell ringer's kettle, or encouage the children you have contact with, or .... ______. If you support our service, we Thank you. And if you'll make a difference in another's life whether they know it or not, we Thank You for them Also!