I don’t think of us as being survivors, but perhaps that’s what we are. One year ago a spark gave way to a flame and fire engulfed our shop and the farm’s first milk barn forcing us to sell our milk herd. Coming back from that has not been easy, and yet here we are milking cows again.
Some of us have a lot of hats that we wear. Mine, in no particular order, include father, husband, son, friend, farmer, and a few more. My wife would say I have watched too many of them!
Wearing the right hat at the right time is not always an easy task. While many people can indentify with some hats I wear there are less than 2% of the population that wear a farmer hat like me.
I went to town to do some non-farm business the other day and as usual I was wearing a farm hat and coat. While waiting on some paperwork the sales clerk began asking about what kind of farming I do and reminiscing about her own childhood farm memories.
Unfortantly for me I was focused only on me and missed a great opportunity to spread the good news about milk. I forgot my hat. A few days later I was again in town and fell into the same situation. This time I was pro-active and talked about dairy farming and the ways we provide safe wholesome milk with happy healthy cows. I was proud of the hat I was wearing.
Perhaps it was a social faux pas, but I couldn’t help myself. Maybe it was the holiday spirit. Yes, let’s say the holiday spirit came over me. That’s why I had to ask Clara if she’d gotten me anything for Christmas.
Clara, of course, is my favorite cow.
She stared at me and swung her head from side to side which is a clear indication she wanted her ears rubbed. Again. By now I could tell what she was thinking. I knew what she would say. “Now Ryan,” she’d begin, “you know I can’t exactly do a whole lot of shopping here in the barn lot or out in the pasture. How about I give you a little extra milk for Christmas?” Continue reading
Of all the creatures that go bump in the night, most of which are not real, I can assure you that the Laundry Beast lives at our house and is alive and well. Our family of five generates a lot of dirty clothes to keep him fed. A lot of clothes.
“Seriously? You just wore that for five minutes!” gets said often. Teenagers. Continue reading
Perhaps there’s no better day than Labor Day to show how farming is a labor of love. While many are enjoying a three day weekend, farmers have not stopped doing their chores.
There are still calves needing breakfast.
Dairy cows expect to be milked and eat hay. Continue reading
We had a hard time convincing a heifer earlier this week to follow us to another field. While we were moving her I thought about another particular animal who really had her own idea about where she was going to go!
Ackbar, The Suspicious Heifer
See the heifer on the right? I’m naming her Ackbar after Admiral Ackbar from The Return of the Jedi Star Wars movie. Continue reading
No summer could ever be summer without ice cream. The cure for a smoldering hot summer day? Ice cream. How to ignore that blistering sunburn you just realized you got? Ice cream. How to stop your kid from crying about a skinned knee? The answer, of course, is ice cream. Continue reading