Thursday, September 9, 2010

What's been happening...from harvesting to invasions to football

Things have been busy, busy, busy lately, and when I've had time to blog I've been too worn out to do so. But, the coffee's flowing this morning and it's a few more minutes before I'll be throwing my bacon in the frying pan, so sit back as I give you a quick recap of what's been happening 'round here.

I was in Chicago on Monday and Tuesday of last week for the first ever AgChat Training Conference. I was a co-presenter with Tim Zweber and Patty Leonard in a workshop entitled "Real Life Show & Tell" in which we each talked about some of the things we do (both online and "offline") to promote our farms and industry.

Last Wednesday we began harvesting our bottomland corn. We made pretty good progress through the week, and the only major issue we had was with a flat tire on the dump truck. We weren't the only ones harvesting, though, as fall armyworms invaded the farm and ate up 52 acres worth of hayfield regrowth. We could have sprayed them, but decided it wasn't worth the time or expense considering we hadn't yet fertilized the fields.

Instead of keeping up the momentum and continuing the harvest on Saturday like many farmers would do, we opted to park the tractors so we could go enjoy the opening of football season at Mississippi State. Dad and I took care of the morning milking duties and left the afternoon in the hands of our employees. We enjoyed over 6 hours of tailgating with other family members and friends before moving into the stadium for the 'Dawgs 49-7 romp over Memphis.

Sunday was a Sunday. Milk, feed, church, milk, feed, done.

Things got interesting on Labor Day. While everyone else has been harvesting, I've been taking care of all the other chores around the dairy. By the end of the day, I had two cows and two heifers to calve, I had to throw lots of refused feed out of the cows' trough (front-end of the silage pit stuff...not the best quality), and a cow stepped on my big toe and slammed me against the rails of our catch-pen when I tried to load her into our breeding chute. And to add insult to injury, I returned home to learn that my baby daughter had hidden the remote control for the satellite!

Tuesday was much better. Harvest continued to run smoothly, dairy chores were much easier, and my wife found the remote.

Things slowed down a bit yesterday. We should have finished harvesting, but our dump truck's transmission got stuck in 5th gear on just the second load. We had to tow it back to the shop (loaded, of course), and after attempts to locate a truck-for-hire failed we managed to get it to where it would shift between 2nd and 3rd. They limped along and managed to finish the day with 11 of the approximately 15 loads that remained in the field.

So that brings us to today. Morning milking is obviously already over, and we'll soon be getting back to work. We have to catch one of the heifers that calved Monday, as she decided to break out of the milking herd's pasture and return to where she came from. After that, hopefully dad and the others can get the harvesting finished before lunch while I take care of feeding heifers and doing whatever else needs doing. With any luck, dad and I will leave things with the employees early this afternoon so we can get a jump on ballgame traffic. That's right, BIG game in Starkville tonight...Mississippi State vs. Auburn. Go 'Dawgs!

A couple of links for your reading pleasure:
  • An article from the AgriBank Advocate newsletter about our farm's use of social media.
  • A blog I posted to Farm Bureau's FBlog last night about the most memorable question I've ever been asked about a cow.
Y'all have a "dairy" good day!

1 comment:

The Wife of a Dairyman said...

Quite the chain of events on your dairy....but that's how it usually goes isn't it?! Glad your wife found the remote for you:)