These are my boys--yes, they're teenage boys! They like to get dirty! They are great kids, but I don't really understand what makes them tick. This is them in a relatively clean state on a muddy day when I needed their help bringing cattle in to sort them into groups to haul to the pasture. It takes my boys twice as long to get the cows and calves to walk through the muddy lot into the catch pen, not because they are working hard, but because they are having too much fun throwing mud at each other with the 4-wheeler tires!
Typical boys, I guess. These kids have been helping me on the ranch since they were first born. Okay, they weren't much help as babies, but they did tag along with me on every ranch chore! They learned that some jobs are dirtier than others. But their most fun job (besides running the 4-wheelers in the mud) is hauling cattle to grass, I think. Everyone is needed and we drive three pickup trucks and three livestock trailers full of cattle to each pasture. It is important to make sure that each mama cow and her baby are taken to the same pasture, so we often have a couple of people doing the time consuming job of sorting them into groups, while three other people drive the trucks to deliver them.
These boys were on the "hauling crew" this year. They were technically old enough last year, as you can get a farmers permit driving license at 14 years of age in Kansas. Since they had older siblings, these boys usually were on the "sorting crew" in the past. This year each of them were entrusted with driving a truck and trailer full of cows or calves, by themselves to the pastures.
Once all the cattle are hauled out, we recheck each pasture to make sure everyone is where they should be and doing well. This bull seems pretty proud of himself--he rubbed his head in a mound of dirt for "his girls." They seem very impressed!