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Nora Weightman has a passion for farming

Kisbey woman discusses her love for the family farm.
Miss Sassy, Nora Weighman's paint horse is a big part of her life.

KISBEY - Nora Weightman was born in the Arcola hospital and after 10 days her mother took her home to the farm north of Kisbey where she was raised by her parents and her older brother David.

Weightman has remained on the farm ever since.  "I am old enough to know better and foolish enough to still be doing it," Weightman said in the interview with the Observer.

She cannot imagine doing anything else but farming and has a true passion for this life.

Her parents had 30-40 head of cattle, which the farm could sustain as there was enough pasture for this size of a herd.

Weightman remembers how as a young child she was putting up loose hay, and today she does around 600-700 round bales weighing about 1,000 pounds if not more.

Her brother David farms just north of the home farm and also has been a trucker.

Today, Weightman has around 100 head of Hereford-cross cows which should start calving at the beginning of April, although some look much closer than that. But she hopes they hold off and Mother Nature doesn't bring any snow comes calving time. 

Her son Dwayne, who lives in Kisbey, is a grader operator and does help with the harvest but is not convinced that cattle is for him. So all the feeding and calving out is done by Weightman, and she loves it.

Right now, she lives in Kisbey as her farmhouse had some issues and she needed a roof over her head, but she misses being out on the farm all the time. Every morning she goes to the farm to feed, check the water, ensure they have lots of bedding and do an overall herd check.

The herd is bred by a rainbow of bulls. Some are red or black Angus; others are Charolais or Simmental bulls. Each breed gives a different trait to the herd.

Cattle are fed green feed, which is a millet that Weightman seeds, along with alfalfa hay and native grass hay mix. They receive minerals and salt at a free range.

In the summer some of the herd move north of Arcola and graze there until Thanksgiving Day. Instead of a Thanksgiving dinner, they move the cattle home and have pizza.

Weightman said they used to move the herd on horseback but now it is done with quads. The trip takes about six hours, stopping halfway through to have a lunch break and allow the cattle to graze and rest.

It feels like cows know when it's time to be moved,  said Weightman, as they will be waiting at the gate to go home. They are moved at a slow pace so that cows and calves do not stress and get too tired.

Having six quarters of her own land, she also leases three quarters and some pastureland. Weightman plants barley and canola to name a few.

Weightman planted her first crop in 1999 and now has someone seed her fields. She said for the time it takes them to do it and the equipment they have, it is not worth it for her to buy all the equipment to get the job done.

She admits that at her age she should slow down, but her love for the farm keeps her going. She does not like being away from her livestock.

"Being on the farm is such a great feeling. The sunsets are beautiful, and the hills are breathtaking. There is no better feeling," Weightman shared. "And I will keep doing this a while longer."