We weren't quite sure what to expect when we visited McIver's Happy Acres last weekend. I hadn't been to a cattle auction before, but I've watched enough westerns in my day I just knew there would be lots of cowboys!

Our host, Dave McIver, had explained he was trying to do things a little differently. Dave and his family raise purebred Hereford and Saler cattle, and this was an opportunity for folks to acquire some of the McIvers' prized breeding stock via kind of a silent auction. The cattle weren't paraded one at a time into a fancy show ring, displayed under spotlight as an auctioneer excitedly talked the bidding up. At Dave's auction, buyers were given a brochure listing the cattle and the corresponding minimum bid. Then they could take their time to look closely at the cattle. By 2:00 their bids needed to be posted on a board inside the McIvers' garage, where the rest of us grazed on Marilyn's delicious home cooking, drank hot coffee and visited.

Well, they had lots of beautiful cows and prize bulls at this auction. I'd say there were quite a few buyers in attendance, too. Most were from around Minnesota and the eastern parts of North and South Dakota. But they all looked and dressed like Minnesota farmers, and my one complaint was that there weren't very many guys in cowboy hats. I guess they thought it was better to dress warm.

Watch for our story on McIver's Happy Acres in the next episode of Lakes Country Living.   And let me know how many cowboy hats you can count!

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 I can't believe how quickly the seasons can change, from winter to spring. Last Sunday we were filming for a new sponsor ad in Ottertail, to promote Willy T's restaurant at Thumper Pond.  We had been trying to schedule filming a group of snowmobilers for several weeks. We had to cancel it the week before, because of the bitterly cold temperatures. As it turned out, Sunday was the last day we could possibly have filmed, the snow was melting so fast! Our models, the Hanson family from Perham and some friends, trailered their sleds to Thumper Pond because it was so warm they were concerned about overheating the engines. By Monday I don't think there was enough snow on the ground to snowmobile! Thus ends another snowmobile season - for around here, anyway.