Society as a whole has decided to call all cattle/bovines cows, and that alone has made it harder for farmers to have conversations about what we do because it almost creates a language barrier. In order to talk to consumers, we also end up calling most of our animals cows, but it can be a struggle because when we’re here at home, or at an industry event, they’re definitely not all cows.
On February 13, 2002 Waylon Jennings passed away. That same day a border collie delivered a litter of puppies. Two of the females landed at this farm – their names … Continue reading An Empty Porch
Two weeks ago, I pulled up to the barn before I headed out the driveway to work. I spotted number 1106 and couldn’t help but shed quite a few tears … Continue reading Tough Decisions
Last week I wrote about many of the reasons that we choose to separate newborn calves from their mother cows shortly after their birth (read: Calf Care Part 1: Why … Continue reading Calf Care Part 2: Why do dairy farmers house calves in hutches?
At a holiday party last fall I had a casual conversation about our farm with another local farmer’s wife whose exposure to agriculture was primarily related to raising grain and … Continue reading Calf Care Part 1: Why do dairy farmers separate calves from their mothers?
We did something recently that we’ve never done before. We intentionally crossbred Holsteins. Before I let my crossbreeding friends get too excited, I’ll explain – we used Angus semen and … Continue reading Thinking Outside the Breed
You may remember that we were trying out a technology called sexed semen, but we had limited success with our first go-around. Not easily discouraged, though, we forged ahead with … Continue reading Heifers Having Heifers
Everyone knows the saying “A watched pot never boils”, but when you’re hungry, you know you can’t look away from that water – watching the bubbles start to form on … Continue reading A Watched Cow
We had about two feet of snow at the end of February, and last week it was over 40 degrees for several consecutive days, melting all but the tallest piles … Continue reading Bring on the Mud
You may remember my favorite cow, Sparky, from “What’s In A Name”. What makes her my favorite? Sparky is the first calf-turned-cow that I had an emotional connection to. She’s the … Continue reading Playing Favorites