Today I lost a great and trusted business partner. I first met Yellow Number Nine when she was just a few month old. It was in the spring of 1999 that she came to visit our farm with a group of six others. She did not stand out from the pack anything special. Short, small framed and wide, she would not have been anyone’s top choice in the group. But what she accomplished would soon leave the others behind. She had her first calf at two years old (something we expect all our working girls to do). She had another calf at three (something that a lot of ladies fail to do because they are feeding their first calf and expected to conceive another, all while still growing). And she continued to not miss a year until 2015. That makes 15 calves in 16 years. So when she didn’t give me anything last year, I let it slide. Then last fall when we moved the herd across the road I doubted that she would make the move back, but she did (slowly). When the herd moved to barn, I doubted she would walk out under her own strength, but she did (slowly). And when I she didn’t calve this year I was going to let it slide again, but today, she calved. But it was too much for the old girl. So the cow that lived on our farm for one less year then I have and had 15 calves in 16 years of production went to the big pasture in the sky today, where the grass always has a spring flush, the mineral tub never runs empty and the creek always runs cold. She did leave me one last thing to remember her by, her 16th calf.