Summer is officially here and county fairs are in full swing. We have about a month before the Knox County Fair, but the wheels are already turning about all the things that we need to take.
Move in day can always be a little overwhelming.
What do we need to take?
Am I taking too much stuff? Yes...but you will probably need it all.
I know I am forgetting something....
I have assembled a list to help you remember everything you need. I don't want to overwhelm you, so this is just the list to make the people happy and comfortable.
What is a Dad?
A dad is someone who
wants to catch you before you fall
but instead picks you up,
brushes you off,
and lets you try again.
A dad is someone who wants to keep you from making mistakes
but instead lets you find your own way,
even though his heart breaks in silence
when you get hurt.
A dad is someone who
holds you when you cry,
scolds you when you break the rules,
shines with pride when you succeed,
and has faith in you even when you fail...
When my father didn't have my hand...he had my back.
Part of being a cattle breeder is picking genetics to develop a herd specific to your program and goals. We have seen many changes in our herd over the last several years and we are continually looking for ways to improve our genetic line. One way to change a herd is to find a bull that has characteristics that you are looking to improve or that are not prevalent in your cows and heifers. For example, we are continually working to tighten our briskets, and have been able to do that by breeding to a bull that has had that quality.
We have been fortunate to grow our own champion bull from a genetic line that has very dominant characteristics. We really favor some of these characteristics and are continuing to develop and add these to our herd. After 4 Wiley Mountain Mitchell won Grand Champion Bull at the Ohio Beef Expo, we knew that we needed to preserve these genes. At the Ohio Beef Expo we were able to meet with Great Lakes Sire Services and make arrangements to have them collect semen from Mitchell.
Several weeks ago, we got up early to start our four hour journey to Great Lakes Sire Service in Bronson, Michigan. The plan was to drop Mitchell off for collection and deliver a Miniature Hereford bull that they had bought from us.
Along the way, we passed miles and miles of wind turbines. They are amazing! The pictures just don't do them justice.
We arrived and stretched our legs before unloading cows and getting a tour of the facility. We were immediately impressed with the layout and thought that has gone into the facility. Daniel is constantly storing away ideas for "when we build our new barn." Then they walked us through the step-by-step process of semen collection.
The boys were able to look at some of the semen under the microscope.
There are a total of five of these large semen tanks that hold all of the semen. The boys were able to experiment with the dry nitrogen and learn of some of it's characteristics.
These are the shipping containers that they use to ship out semen to customers.
We also got to see quite a few amazing bulls. This one was as big as a truck. I wouldn't want to meet him on a bad day!
The boys got a little stir crazy on the way home, so we decided to find a go-cart track. Easier said than done. Every go-cart place that our GPS directed us to was out of business. We finally found a place in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Isaac was tall enough to drive his own cart (first time ever) and Walker was content to ride along. He decided that being a farm boy that already "knows how to drive a truck" has it's advantages. He gleefully passed many slow pokes.
Mitchell is now back home and "working his magic" on the girls in our herd.
We came home with a tank full of semen that is now available for sale. Mitchell is a very stout, wide, deep bodied, clean fronted bull that will certainly make a great addition to any breeding program.
This summer we are working with Isaac and Walker on taking pride in their work, completely finishing tasks and doing them well, without having mom and dad following behind to pick up the pieces. This week we had the perfect opportunity for them to practice this.
With a cow ready to go into labor and Daniel out of town, we called on the boys to step up to the plate and be the farmers for the day.
Missy's due date was not until June 18th, but we knew that she was not going to make it that long. She was showing the signs of the birth being very close. She was close enough that Daniel wanted someone to check on her throughout the night. Isaac very quickly volunteered. Daniel and I looked at each other and gladly accepted the offer. School is out and he will sleep in as late as he wants, so why should we get up in the middle of the night and then have to drag ourselves out of bed to get to work in the morning?
By night number three, Isaac was no longer enthralled with the alarm going off at 2:30 a.m.
To make things even more interesting, Daniel had to go to Nashville, TN this week for training. We were convinced that Missy would have her baby before he left Wednesday morning. Just my luck! She didn't go and I was left in charge of baby watch. However, I had to work. This left Isaac and Walker on baby watch during the day.
Thursday morning before I left for work, I went out to the pasture to check on Missy. She was fine. By later that afternoon, Isaac called to tell me that her tail had been sticking straight out for about a half hour and that he thought she was having contractions. I had to leave my desk for about an hour and Daniel was in class, so I told him to keep an eye on everything, but only call Dad if it was a real emergency.
I got back to my desk an hour later and Walker called to tell me we had a bull calf. As soon as he had gotten off the phone with me an hour earlier, he ran around to the back of the pasture and saw two feet. Two pushes later and the calf was on the ground.
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.