Wednesday evening cow number 976 had a calf. It was a heifer. The calf was pretty small, which is generally a good thing because its easier on the cow. But … Continue reading It’s a Heifer! And a Bull?
Today is National Agriculture Day. I often write about what we do as a part of agriculture, but today I want to talk about why we do it. Michele Payn-Knoper … Continue reading National Ag Day: Why do we farm?
In his years at K-State, David’s favorite band was Cross Canadian Ragweed. They often played shows at Longhorn’s in Manhattan where he got the opportunity to meet lead singer Cody Canada, who would hang out with the crowd after the shows. Today, we often listen to Ragweed and other Red Dirt (that’s the genre) favorites in the milk barn.
Through our friend Carrie Mess, better known as Dairy Carrie, we’ve discovered Cody Canada’s new band – The Departed. They covered a song titled ‘A Little Rain Will Do” that really resonates with us right now, and yesterday they released a new single called “Worth The Fight”. It’s from their upcoming album Adventus due out in November.
Carrie blogs at www.dairycarrie.com and had this big idea (she’s known for her big ideas) to have fellow fans promote The Departed’s music along with what we think is worth the fight – Agriculture. You can read her post and find links to others on her site. You can also follow the twitter hashtag #worththefight.
Farming isn’t usually easy. Every single day we’re committed to looking out for the land and animals under our care. For David and I, it’s our heritage. Our families passed down the love for land and animals that we share. They taught us hard work and determination. We hope to someday be able to pass that heritage down, but to do that, we have to preserve it.
In our first year, we’ve faced a drought and a pricing imbalance. We’ve been discouraged at times, but we know we can’t give up. We’re proud of the land, the cows, and all that goes with it. We want to preserve the farm and way of life it allows us to live – for ourselves and future generations.
In addition to the weather, we have to battle misinformation. So often we hear things that aren’t true about our practices, or most other farmers’ practices. In the age of the internet, it doesn’t take long for information to spread, regardless of its accuracy, though. So many people today are several generations removed from the farm; less than 2% of Americans are directly involved in production agriculture, and many don’t know where to look for accurate information. That’s why we started this blog – we wanted to tell our own story. We’re not always perfect, but we try to always be honest.
In our area, houses dot the countryside. More and more, farms are being divided up and sold as residential lots. Farmers are supposed to feed the world, but here at home the amount of land available to do so is shrinking every day. We’ll keep doing our part to preserve the traditions handed down to us, striving each day to use less to make more. Hopefully, our hard work will pay off. Farming is our way of life, and we think it’s worth the fight.
What do you think is worth the fight?
This weekend we did something very rare – we spent a full day away from the farm.
A few months ago we got an invite from our great friends the Pinkstons to stay at their family’s lake house for Memorial Day. Steve and Emilie live in Indiana (a 9 hr drive), so we really didn’t want to miss the chance to see them while they were 3.5 hours from us. Leaving for just a day and a half takes a lot of planning, but the stars aligned, and we made it happen.
Dave is the only one who knows the ration and mixes feed, so he mixed an extra load Saturday afternoon. It’s not ideal to let the mixed feed sit that long, but it’s workable on occasion. We also made sure that our part time help would be there for every milking while we were gone to assist David’s dad who has been struggling with a shoulder injury. We fed and watered all the calves and the dog before heading out Saturday evening, and we left instructions on how to feed each group or animal for the next 3 feedings.
We made it to the lake a little after 9 pm on Saturday and stayed until Monday morning. Sunday was the first day David hadn’t milked a cow since we visited my family in Illinois for Christmas. After a night and day by the water relaxing, we were sunburnt and a little tired, but it was nice to visit with friends and not worry about the farm, even if just for the day.
We owe a big Thank You to the Pinkstons for being such amazing hosts. They have a beautiful lake home, and we had a GREAT time. We also appreciate David’s dad, Jerry, and our employee, Tyler, for making it possible for us to get away. Thanks, all!