Dairy Farm

A couple of weeks ago Larissa’s preschool class took a field trip to a local family-owned dairy farm.

It was a beautiful day for walking around the farm.  All of the cows were out and there were new babies to be visited!

How now brown cow?
This was the only brown one in the bunch.  The kids all claimed it was the one that gave chocolate milk!

There’s something about a farm that I find intriguing and kind of romantic.  Even though it’s a lot of work it harkens back to a simpler time, and that sounds appealing to me most days.  Fresh air, hard work, no worries about what to wear or hours of mindless wandering through Target for lack of something better to do.  Of course that romance is probably thrown out the window when it is 4:30 in the morning, 30 below outside and you have a bunch of cows waiting to be milked.  Not to mention most of my kids would rather perish than imagine the thought of routine manual labor.  Oh well…thankfully there are other families who choose this life whose farms you can visit and dream about….

The family of this farm runs a herd of 50 cows and their jobs include milking, breeding and cultivating crops for feed – and they do it with a staff of just six – the husband, the wife, their two teen-aged kids and two hired hands!  Amazing.  Every morning they milk the cows at 5:00, then they do it again in the evening.  All of the cows have their own milking spot and they told us that each cow knows the drill and goes right to their appointed stall when it’s time.  Their milk is free of antibiotics or anything unnatural, which is common of most family farms but I’m sure a lot harder to do.  Every two days a truck from the local dairy arrives to pump all of the milk from the “milk room” and take it away for processing.  Did you know that milk can go from the cow to your table in under three days??

Six new babies had just been born at the farm.  They spend just a short bit of time with their mamas before they are separated and bottle fed.  They feed them real milk that they pump from the mothers.  It was close to feeding time because as soon as we walked in all of the babies started to bleat and put their mouths around anything they could reach on us.

The little cows are so precious – it’s hard to believe that they quickly morph into 2-ton monsters!

Isn’t this one adorable with the heart-shaped spot on his forehead?

The family was so nice and spent lots of time answering all of our (my) questions and letting us look at every part of the farm.

This is the husband, showing the kids about the feed that they give all of the cows.
We got to look up into the silo (super creepy) and out across the sunny green acres of corn.  We ended our tour with some time inside the barn.  It is original to the farm – over 150 years old – and built without a single nail!  Sometimes it seems we knew how to make things better before we invented so much stuff to make things better…know what I mean?

It’s amazing to think that this one little operation helps to provide so much of the milk we drink….then you think of how many people there are in our country…and all those refrigerated sections full of milk and butter and cheese…and you realize how many farms it must take to make that all happen!

Thank goodness for farmers!

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1 comment

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    Elizabeth Elsinger

    Thank you so much for the positive thoughts on farming! As a life long dairy farmer, I truly appreciate your comments. I’d just like to clear one thing up. All milk sold in the US is antibiotic-free. It’s the law. Daiiry farmers are very passionate about the Thank you so much for your post! Perfect for June Dairy Month!