The fence and clearing project on our new leased land near the Heisson Store in Battle Ground, WA is finally done! We finished the final section of fence and moved cattle onto this place at the end of the day on May 29th! For me, it’s been well over two and a half straight months of clearing out small trees and old fences, setting posts and stringing over ¾ of a mile of new fence. This has to be the biggest fencing project I’ve ever taken on before, but knowing how important this added grassland is to our operation, kept me going strong to the end.

I had some tremendous help on this fence, especially with the final phase of clipping barb wire to the steel posts. A good friend of mine brought out his 12 year old son and his nephew, and taught them how to clip wire using this clip bender tool. I highly recommend this tool if you ever find yourself building wire livestock fence. Having these extra hands on the final phase of the fence, helped save my hands and wrist, and also was a good experience for the kids to get some experience doing some hard work and making some money for their efforts. This extra help was the huge boost that I needed to keep going and get this done.

I had great weather in April and early May, and was able to get the tractor and truck into all corners of the property, but during the last two weeks of fence building in May, we had about 10 total inches of rain! Most of that rain fell in about 7 days. We get about two to three times the rain up here in the cascade foothills vs. nearby Vancouver, WA, or Portland, OR, so we average at least 80 inches per year! I have to say that as much as I was glad to have that much rain for our fields, it really slowed me down and probably made what would have been a final week’s worth of work, instead drag into two full weeks. I was ready to be done and get the cattle moved onto this fantastic pasture, but going out in rain gear, repeatedly getting soaked through, slipping and standing in mud all day long, and trying to hold onto muddy fence tools- It all just took it’s toll in energy and time.

On what I hoped was the final day, when I was completely exhausted, I was making the final push to finish the fence, and move the cattle in. But I ended up getting the truck stuck so deep in the mud, that I had to bring the tractor over to pull it out and have my friend drive the truck at the same time. We finally got the truck out, but I had lost more than half a day. My friend, in some strange desire to torture himself, offered to help me to work on the fence for a few hours and help me salvage my day, even though it was already about six o’clock in the evening. We worked until almost dark and nearly finished a 9 PM that night, which left me able to complete the rest and haul cattle in the next day, May 29th.

With this fence finally done, it’s been rewarding to watch the cows enjoy the pasture, take in the beauty of this place, and take one more look inspecting the new fences. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures. But now that the weather has turned Summerlike, there’s no time to sit still, it’s already time to clean out the barn, line up a hay crew, and move on to haying season…

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