Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Great farm dads

I started working on this post well over a week ago, with plans for posting it on Father's Day. And here I am finishing it up now. That's kind of how everything feels right now — about a week behind.

But, just because Father's Day has passed, doesn't mean I can't celebrate the great farm dads in my life. I think these photos are too great to not share. And, if you want to read the column I wrote about farm dads, you can find it on the main Dairy Star site.

Glen and Dan milking Dinah. Dinah was Dan's first favorite cow.

Glen and Dan taking a break together.

Glen and Monika unloading TMR for the cows.

The moment which inspired Glen to say,
"I think we're going to need a skidloader for each kid someday.

Break time in the barn. Ice cream is always better when it's shared.

Dan and Papa Dad going out to check the
beef cows on one of our trips up north.

My dad's idea for toting Monika's sippy cup along while carrying her.

Dan helping Papa Vern fill the hoppers on the corn planter.

Dan telling my Grandpa Erwin about the fly swatter.

Happy belated Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Well-behaved goslings

Usually, when I'm in the pasture getting cows, the geese and their goslings are in the ponds. But one day, while heading out mid-morning to check on a close-up cow, I stumbled across the geese moving from one pond to another.

As I was watching, something occurred to me — dang, those goslings are well behaved. When the goose and gander ducked down to hide in the grass, so did the goslings.

When the goose (or gander, I couldn't tell which) decided it was time to make a break for the water, she honked and the goslings hustled.

I wish Dan and Monika listened as well. Maybe if, like the goose and gander, Glen and I devoted all of our time to parenting, our children would be as well behaved as the goslings.

Then, again, maybe not. And parenting would be a lot less interesting if they didn't have minds of their own. But, once, just once, I would like to only ask them one time to put their barn boots on, or wait by the door, or _______ (fill in the blank).

At least we've got several more years to work on listening well before they leave the nest.

In the field…
As much as I love baleage, I have to admit that putting our first crop of hay up as haylage was a good decision. We haven't tested it yet, but it should be some pretty high quality feed. We finished cutting on a Tuesday evening and started chopping on Wednesday afternoon. The last box went in the bag at about 1:15 a.m. I think this is the first time we've harvested first crop without Mother Nature washing (or threatening to wash) the windrows first. The regrowth looks good, and this rain will help immensely. Before we know it the second crop will be ready.

In the barn…
Switching cows is going much better this year thanks to the nifty gates Glen and our brother-in-law put up in the barn this winter. Its amazing how switching cows sharpens our math skills; every milking finds us doing the math to figure out how many cows to leave outside and to make sure we didn't forget a cow out in the pasture. We just started calving in a group of heifers. The first three had heifer calves – and even better than that, one of them is a red and white out of my old show cow's granddaughter. The next couple weeks will be especially busy with new heifers and new calves.

I hope your summer is off to a good start!