Welcome to "Ask us" -- a series of posts designed to answer some of our most frequently asked questions. It took over an hour to get to the nearest dairy farm from the house I grew up in. While the local nursery had a few goats and the occasionally pig, animal agricultural was very distant from where I grew up. My life has changed significantly in the last decade and I now boast skills like being able to milk a cow, drive a tractor, and bottle feed a calf. When I go home to visit, I get asked some really interesting questions. I thought I would take a crack at answering some of those questions here
Each day on the farm is different. Our animal’s needs are constantly changing, our to-do list evolves with the changes we make to the farm, and our priorities reflect the season. As we are every autumn, we are busy getting ready for the winter. We are also in the middle of building two barns and making some improvements to our house. Here is a snapshot of our day.
6:00 Chris goes outside, hollers for the cows up in the pasture, and gets feed ready for the cows. After hearing Chris holler and the skidsteer start, the cows slowly make their way down to the barn to enjoy breakfast. Chris gets the parlor set up for milking and tends to the needs of the younger animals.
6:45 The cows finish their breakfast and the first group of cows enters the parlor to be milked. Milking takes about 90 minutes during which time Chris is in the parlor. I usually wake up as the first cows are getting put on the units, get myself ready for work, and then get our daughter ready for daycare.
8:00 Chris takes a quick break from milking to say goodbye, and Hannah and I leave for work.
8:15 Chris finishes milking and begins to clean the barn, parlor, and milking equipment
8:40 The milk truck shows up as the Chris comes in for breakfast, so he grabs a few pieces of cheese and heads back outside.
9:00 Chris starts removing the forms from the concrete project we completed last week.
11:15 A neighbor calls asking to borrow one of our tools, so Chris quickly runs over to the neighbor's house.
11:45 Chris returns home and finished removing the forms.
12:00 I respond to e-mails and return phone calls during my lunch break.
12:10 The semen salesman stops by the farm to replenish the liquid nitrogen in our semen tank and leaves us a pamphlet with the latest bulls.
2:45 Chris finishes working on the concrete, realizes it is well past lunch time and grabs cheese and an apple for a snack. He heads back outside to check the fence line
4:15 I get home from work and head outside with Hannah to prepare the garden for the winter.
5:30 Chris calls the cows in from the pasture, pushes up feed, and prepares for evening chores
6:00 Chris starts evening chores and I head inside to pay bills and sort through farm paperwork.
7:45 Chris finishes cleaning up from chores and heads inside for dinner
8:15 We talk about farm, the plan for tomorrow, and identify the most important priorities.
8:45 We prime the second bedroom and get it ready for paint.