C is for Charolais Cattle (and catching up)

April 4th was the day for the letter C in the #atozchallenge. It was also my first day back at work after a family vacation to New York City and thankfully I was in the field not in the office. It was a nice way to decompress after four days in the New York and the long drive back to North Carolina.

Iā€™m the Associate Director and General Counsel of a regional land trust working in the north central Piedmont of North Carolina. We are like the Nature Conservancy but work on a smaller scale to permanently protect family farms, clean water and scenic open land for passive recreation. Most of my job is the paperwork and negotiations that result in the permanent protection of these properties but every so often I get to be in the field.

None of that has much to do with Charolais except that I was in the field on Monday to meet state agency representatives who decide whether or not this farm will get funding. And with me in the field ā€“ were about 800 head of Charolais cattle. The entire farm has more than 800 acres so this is not one of those depressing feedlot operations. No ā€“ these Charolais are happy cows.img_3400

The breed originated in France perhaps as early as 878 AD. They are completely white (except for patches of mud and dirt) with variations ranging from the color of straw to white as new fallen snow. They are stocky and heavier than other breeds and able to graze easily over rugged terrain and able to withstand hot weather. The breed is raised primarily for beef. The first Charolais came to the United States from Mexico in 1936.

We won’t learn of the funding decision for several months, but getting a site visit is the first step. It’s also appropriate that I post this today because I’m headed out there this morning to meet representatives of the federal funding source. Not a bad way to book-end my first week back at work. Happy Friday!

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