I know it has been a while since I have posted; things have changed here that have left me feeling a number of emotions that I don’t want to deal with along with making some decisions moving forward that need to be made.
My son and his family are no longer doing the milking; I find it a relief for them in a way. It means less travel time and more time tending to their own animals…I know from the disappointment of giving up this part of their dream to milk cows that it has to be one of those things that will weigh on their minds and hearts for a long time.
I try to look at it as being a learning experience…being responsible for a working dairy farm and having to maintain a full time job for monetary reasons just isn’t possible…
The impact of low milk prices and the price of beef and dairy animals sent to market is making all of us feel a bit like a failure. My Farmer would always come up with some solution to a financial problem…he would struggle with it for some time and then just say let’s do this or that and see what happens…
The situation I find myself in now, milking and taking care of calves again, has been leaving me very tired and sore ( a summer of not doing much manual labor has made me soft…) I am lame and overwhelmed.
Jeremy and his family has been feeding all the larger heifers and cows, as I do not feel safe in the skiddie…but this takes time away from his beef operation among other things. Today he is helping make new areas for dry cows and heifers…hoping to have everything right here at the ‘farm’ and not off across the road…which will make feeding a bit easier and also we will have a better way of keeping track of the closeups as well as those due a couple of weeks out.
I cannot and will not give my animals away…but won’t begin to get what they are worth. I thought of selling just the milk cows and holding on to heifers and calves to have a start up herd in a year or two…but when you hear of a hereford beef cow weighing 1300+lbs. bringing less than 35 cents / pound all thoughts of selling goes out the window.
Hindsight is 20/20…but too little too late. We all should have gotten involved and MADE it work…thrown our personal feelings and pride out the window…
Now it seems like I am starting over again…I am glad to have the babies here again and watch them grow. I milk both ends of the day at least for now. Jai is enjoying helping me in the parlor…he is very calm and quiet around the cows which is a must unless you want to get kicked or pushed.
So for now at least, I am back into it. Not as a Farmer’s wife…I have been forced up the ladder of ‘farm-dom’ …and now have become the Farmer. I watch for crows all the time…I come into the house to see the butterflies in one form or another just to get my Farmer fix.
I had a fantastic teacher of 45+ years but it is not the same…for a while I got to enjoy life without the commitment of daily milking and chores…now the ‘kids’ come to me as they did the Farmer…only this time the voice of experience is quiet.
When they ask what I want to do about such and such I know they want my opinion but I base it on what I think Ed would say.
As for me, for now…all I can say is that it is a tough job and I’ve been left to do it…there has to be a solution and with the help of some others I will try. My body has grown older over these passed six months or so for a number of reasons; as soon as I can get over this lameness I will be on my game again…I will make my Farmer proud…perhaps by continuing to farm or maybe by deciding not to any longer. Either way he will know I am doing my best…besides, I have to answer to him one day!