Things are really moving along with the sale barn - we are excited to see this thing go up! I hope I'm not boring you with the details - if so, feel free to move along....but this is a big deal to us here at the ranch. We want to build something everyone is proud of, is highly functional, and will be utilized well in the future. And that's a fun task to work on.
This fall the ranch hired Nate to do a lot of the prep work on the sale barn area; he took out fence, tore down a round pen, moved two small sheds and did other general prep. The land sits next to our house and a feed alley, so he had to reinforce the east edge of where the sale barn will go, so that it doesn't degrade into the feed alley. He did a great job, and in no time at all had blocks & a perimeter fence in place so that Jack and a hired leveler could come in and build up the dirt in the sale barn construction area.
The land got leveled at the end of November, and Jack & Gary did a great job. It's funny how a piece can look kind of level, but then when you actually put a laser out there, it really isn't. So after two days (and a LOT of dirt moved) the area is level.
We have an overhead powerline that needs to be buried, so the electricians were out the day before Thanksgiving to trench and bury conduit. When I came home to work, there was a 6 foot deep trench across our driveway, and the only way to get to the house was to off-road it by the feed bunks. Guess the pickup I bought in October is really paying off! :)
We're still waiting for PGE to bury the powerline, but until then, Kralman Steel who is our building contractor is on site this week to deliver rebar and other equipment they'll need to pour the foundation. The building is expected to be shipped from Butler to us at the beginning of January, so Kralman's want the concrete poured and give it enough time to cure (tough in this cold weather) properly before the building arrives.
Patsy and I have been buying items for inside the sale barn - TV's, computers, a counter, etc. and Mike was giving her a hard time for "buying stuff for a building that isn't even constructed yet" but we're getting closer and closer to calving, and once that starts our free time will be at a premium. Plus - you don't have to convince us of a need to shop. Patsy hit up the Black Friday sales in the stores, and I grabbed great deals online. Plus good old Craigslist has served us well, along with some treasures that Patsy's found in an old barn. Clint's been working on figuring out the pens and sale ring, and working to make sure those function well and are as multi-purpose as we can make them.
It's all in an effort to create a sale barn facility & cattle working facility that is functional, highly efficient, smartly planned out, welcoming for people and safe for cattle. Hopefully we can achieve all of those goals.
Specifically by March 14, 2014 when Rollin Rock Angus hosts their sale!
So tell me - what are features that you enjoy when you go to a bull sale (or any livestock sale)? Theater style seats? Heated barn? Friendly customer service from the clerks? I'd love to hear your ideas of what "makes" a sale!