Wednesday, September 17, 2014

     Corn silage season is done for another year.  Actually, it has been done for us for a little over a week.  I see and hear many farmers who say this is the best time, it smells so good,  and so on.  Well, for me it is not my favorite time.  Don't get me wrong, I love knowing we have feed cut and stored for the coming year.  The process, however, does not make me all that happy.  Why, you may ask?  Well, for starters, if I have to drive, that is a whole new stress in life. I'm not very good at it.
      I can handle driving on flat level ground where there is not that push to hurry because it's not raining today, but it will tomorrow, mentality.   Driving  straight up a steep hill with a wagon full of silage is not my cup of tea. Add to that hill, a wet, muddy, slippery field.  Although, I got pretty comfortable with that after a few times.  And I don't like driving on  slope.  I always feel like I'm tipping over. Then we were unhooking on the road for a little bit at the bottom of a hill.  I figured I would unhook where my MIL did.  Wrong, I tried that and my wagon rolled back.  Garrett was with me at that time and says, "Uh, mommy? it's rolling."  Thank God the angels were strong and stopped it from rolling over the steep ditch!
     Then there is the safety factor.  Jason is the unloader and runs the bagger.  The pto makes me nervous, even with the shield on.  Then when they are working on the chopper head, Jason and his dad are setting underneath it.  I finally asked if there was a safety bar to prevent it from falling.  After that, at least they put a block under it so if it fell, that was there. 
     I see photos of all these other farmwives with their kids in the tractor with them.  Not me!  It requires my full attention so kids can't come.  Alex needed to talk to me one time, and climbed in.  I said, "Alex you can't ride with me.  I'm not very good at it."  He says, "I know."  Grant said once, "Grandma drives faster than you."  And my husband said that, too.  I like the feeling of contributing to our life.  But I also know my limits, and driving the tractor for silage is pushing them. 
     I hope everyone else's harvest season is going well, with big yields and safety for all.  A lot of seed corn is being picked but no regular field corn.  We have another cutting of hay down so hopefully no rain is on it's way.  Fall calving is in full swing so I am busy with calves morning and night.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So this last weekend was our state fair here in Nebraska.  We all have a lot of fun, but this is pretty much how we all end up.  So tired that we will sleep anywhere, including a big pile of wood-shavings and 2 duffle bags.  For those unfamiliar with fairs, it is fun but a lot of hard work.  It may look like walking an animal around is easy, and at the end, it should be.  However, training a calf or cow to a halter is harder than what the show ring  shows.  They don't like something placed around their neck and ears, then trying to get them to walk is another issue.  They really won't go if they don't want to.  There needs to be trust that you are leading them not to hurt them and it takes a lot of practice.  Then the head must be up to show off cow's best assets.  Nice legs, straight back, walking uphill, and good teat placement are just some of the things a judge looks for.  It is such a good experience for everyone.  Learning patience, hardwork and commitment, and treating your animals right is what it is all about.  And fun, can't forget that!  In the end, we all hope for the big prize, like Supreme Champion, but there must be a loser to have a winner.  This year, in the Youth Show, Logan received Reserve Supreme Champion.  That's pretty darn good.  We are so proud of our nephews and nieces who show, and in a few years our kids will be old enough too.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Busy Times

     County fair, State fair, school starting, farm improvements, silage cutting(soon), it's very busy here on the dairy.  Why am I re-starting my blog in the middle of it all, you may ask?  Simple, because I am avoiding my preparations for all of the above.  But really, what better time to share all that goes on, on the farm?  The few months away from my blog have been eventful, with many tales to tell.  But for now, this first post on a new blog address is simply to let you know, we are still here just really busy. 
This is Ben and his Guernsey calf.  We took some photos for one of his
 Clover Kid project and this was one of his favorites.