National Guard Assists in Colorado Haylift for Snowbound Livestock (FoxNews story)
LAMAR, Colo. — Colorado Army National Guard crew chief Nick Cornelius is spending this week doing something he wasn't trained to do: tossing bundles of hay out the back of an attack helicopter.
Bale after bale, about 500 in all, tumbled from choppers above snowbound southeastern Colorado in a battle to save thousands of head of cattle — and the regional economy — from the devastation of a winter storm that has held parts of the plains in a frigid grip.
My first thought was: is this operation costing more than the actual worth of the cattle that may or may not be lost. Reading further on I came upon this.
Getting food to stranded cattle is key to protecting the region's economic lifeblood, said agricultural extension agent Leonard Pruett. Up to $1.8 billion in cattle are on the line, most of them breeding cows that will produce next year's crop of beef cattle.
Yowser, $1.8 billion!!! Put's a whole new meaning to 'where's the beef.' OK, so I suppose a couple hundred thousand, even a few million for the effort will be worth the cost. The next thing that struck me with the story:
Dropping a 75-pound bale of hay 200 feet to a cow struggling in a snowdrift isn't a routine National Guard operation and requires a fair degree of precision, Cornelius said.
"You try not to hit them," he said.
I had a vision of Gino in the back. I can hear the chopper pilot yelling back through the intercom: "dammit Gino, we said try NOT to hit the stupid cows, that's 10 in a row you've nailed in the head."