Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Nothing soothes a child's problems quicker than a parent's calm voice. The trust that has been built up over time between them can solve many problems. Farmers are a lot like parents with a large family of animals. This morning my soothing call helped some of my calves out of trouble.
The problem probably began over the weekend with the storms that had rolled through. A large tree fell on the fence and took out about 25' worth of it, but I didn't find that out until later. What I saw was five of my young heifers standing out in the road wishing they could find a way back in to the field with their friends. I called them to the gate and they walked right in behind me. It was too dark to look for any problems with the fence then, and I didn't have any tools with me anyway.
I sent our farm hand out to check the fence for problems and gave him a bucket of feed in case he needed it to lure the calves in if they had wandered out again. He found the tree, the downed fence, and two calves that would not listen to reason and come back to where they belonged. So he called me.
I'm the one who feeds these calves everyday. They know me and my truck. When I got to the field all the calves were on the far side of it standing next to the two calves on the other side of the fence. I drove on back there and called for them. The calves followed me all the way around and up and down the hills until we got to the gate and the lost ones again walked back in with their friends. I drove over to the feed boxes and fed them some more to thank them for doing what I asked.
It amazes me how some people believe that farmers do not care for their animals. I know these calves and count them everyday to make sure they are all present. I bring them feed daily and medicine if they need it. If I do my part to raise them to be healthy then they will do their part and provide me with a way to earn a living.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
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. 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.