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Tag: Modern dairy life

How many do you milk?

The guy behind the counter didn’t know me, basically he knew that a man had sent down his wife with an electric motor to be repaired and it was for farm use. This was my second time speaking to the shop owner in less than 90 minutes, the motor was finished and my bill was due, while we waited through the awkward silence of the transaction to process he made small talk. He took his cue from the business name on my debit card and asked, ‘How many do you milk?” This is how we define ourselves as a dairy…

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The future is [more] female

As I was saying goodbye to my husband our youngest child asked his dad if he was going to work? The response was yes. “Like get in your truck and drive down the road to work?” I suppose on one hand I like the idea that our children don’t consider the farm “work” and that at 4 years old my littlest is seeing his mom carry out the farm chores. But on the other hand, I’m sad that I’m doing farm work alone more often and that one of us working off the farm isn’t so much a choice but…

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She stays

The cattle trailer backed into the driveway and we each held our tattered piece of paper. We walked up around 20 head of breeding age heifers, the females over 14 months old, and stood in the doorway. We’ve sorted cattle for over 10 years together, generally our hands at our sides and our conversation is hushed, we know how to work together after all this time. This morning though, our bodies are shivering, clouds of heat from the girls make it hard to see, there is another person in the barn, and he is rattling off ear tags. Man who…

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Life changes

There will be several times today I ask myself the same question, am I strong enough for this? The tone will change and the question will sometimes morph into an answered statement, but it’s truthful that in almost every task and challenge I underestimate myself, whether right or wrong I assume I’m not alone. A year into our dairy farm I was debating the idea of going back to college. We decided that it would be a few years of pulling our lives in too many directions and instead we could just focus on our business of farming together. Fast…

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