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Dear Cattle,

I love to go out with my dad and give you “cake” (a ration of cattle food). I think it’s so funny when you come running when we honk the horn. My favorite time to give you "cake" is during the spring because you have your calves with you. They are so cute flopping and frolicking behind you. When I get out of school for the summer, I love to round you up, bring you to the corrals for your annual doctor's appointment, and brand your calves. I am a flanker, which means I hold down your calves. They often bawl or cry, so I catch myself talking to them and trying to calm them down. Since there are so many of you cows, it takes forever to brand every single one of your calves. After we are done branding, we wean your calves. All of the heifers (girls) are added to their herd and begin their adult lives at the ranch. The steers and bulls (boys) are taken care of in my family's feedlot, where we feed them our grain mixture until they gain about 100 pounds.

While we are weaning the calves, we preg test each of you to see if you are pregnant and when your next baby will be born. I love this time of year. 

In the winter, we ship the steers and bulls to their next owners. This time of the year is really busy. 

My family loves to care for each of you and all your babies. Thank you for being such great animals! I love you each so much! 

Love your little goofball, 

Charly Jae Whetten, 76 Ranch

Photos of Charly Jae: (c) Seth Joel, photographed in 2017 for Arizona Ranch Raised Kids

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