Friday, December 30, 2011

Just a quickie

Hey y'all sorry I've been so absent lately....just been busy! Stay tuned....big things are just around the corner. I'll try to update this thing a lot more frequently in the coming months. The past year has been so amazing! (Especially in the social media world) Can't wait to see what 2012 holds.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Perhaps a little known perk of farming

     Being a dairyman requires many things. Long hours, and working 7 days most weeks are just some of the requirements. However with these heavy responsibilities come a few perks.... 
     My wife and I were discussing these today on our drive up to attend a few meetings. These meetings just happen to be held in the resort town of Park City. As with most of the meetings we are fortunate enough to attend, they know how to treat us farmers to a rare nice night out. There are a few annual meetings that we look forward to every year. As I get older I'm sure the meetings will continue to increase.
     Farming and agriculture have taken me and my family to places I never would have dreamed that it would. Nashville, Washington D.C, and even Florida, just to name a few. An upcoming trip I'm looking forward to will be my first trip over seas. Our local New Holland tractor dealer is taking a group of us to London & Belgium to see their large machinery assembly plants.
     I feel very blessed and lucky to do what I do. Farmers are one of, if not the hardest working group of people in the world! Its nice to enjoy a few perks from that hard work every now and then.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Harvesting more than just corn

     Here on out family farm this time of year is always busy. Its harvest season. During these 3 weeks we put up enough corn silage (about 5000 tons) to last us the entire year. This requires alot of hard work and it requires everyone to step up and go above and beyond what they normally do. The window for us to put up our corn crop the right way is very small.
     First the corn has to freeze to harden the kernel and make the moisture an optimal level to turn the product to silage. We play the waiting game, until the first frost, and then its game on! We start chopping around 7 every morning, but that's not until after we have already completed our other normal duties for the day.
     In our case my neighbor and friends at M&K ranch grow corn for us, they also chop the corn that we grow. This year they had two New Holland choppers and up to 9 trucks delivering corn to us. We have at least 2 tractors and sometimes up to 4 working what we call the silage pit. We form a mountain that is 100 feet from one side to the next. The tractors on the pit are required to push the silage to form this mountain and pack the silage as tight as possible. The tighter we can pack the silage the better the product will be. At times when we feel extremely busy my uncle will pull his young son out of school to come and help us. He is only 12 but he is an excellent tractor driver. It makes him feel important to be here and it teaches him a good work ethic. We are "harvesting" a young farmer in the making.
     The final step in the harvest process is perhaps the most un liked part of the process. We have to cover our put & put tires on top of the plastic. It takes 30 sidewalls tied together to go over the entire pile and they are touching each other all the way up and down. This takes a group effort from all of our available employees. We all come togrthernatbthe end of the afternoon to complete this process. I feel that this "harvests" a cloaeness and friendship that we feel with our employees. Its not a fun part of the job, but if we all work together ot goes smoothly and we all share in the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
      Our harvest season is about more than just putting up a good crop of corn. Its about teaching our next generation how important they are and how important a good work ethic is. Its about every employee on our operation knowing that they are always needed and that it takes all of us working together to end up with a good end result.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Slow down and smell the

     Recently we've had a small lull in the action here on our families farm. We are between 3rd and 4th crop hay cuttings, the corn isn't ready to chop, and all my winter barley except for what is going in after the corn, is in the ground and being watered. Its given me time to slow down a little bit in the afternoons and relax. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going in and sleeping everyday, I just simply don't feel like I have to constantly run just to keep up. 
     After making my evening water change the other day I sat down on my irrigation pipe in the quiet field and just took a while to enjoy the sounds and smells that were all around me. I could faintly hear my cows in the distance. I could here thousands of geese in the river right below me, random small birds chirping in the trees by the road. I could even hear a coyote, as it was close to dusk. I wasn't that far from the barn, so I could still get a whiff of my cows, ( I love that smell by the way). I could smell our compost, my neighbors freshly cut hay, and even the dust from the road as an employee passed on his way home. It was like my own little on farm aroma therapy session.
     It really hit me how lucky I am to be where I am and be doing what I do! Don't city folk pay good money to go on retreats where they are out in nature away from the everyday hustle and bussle of the city? How lucky am I to get paid to be out here in it every single day? Yes, there are deffinently days where its not easy, days when it would be nice to clock out and go home to my family at five o'clock, or snowy sundays when i wish I could just stay in the house. But, like every dedicated farmer and rancher I know, we don't do this because its easy, or for the money. We do this because we love doing it.  We love the feeling we get when we turn over the ground we are blessed to work on. We farm because its in our blood and we've been doing it for generation after generation! We do this for those rare moments we can slow down and stop to enjoy the small things that are all around us everyday.
     If you are a farmer and your reading this, do me a favor and just find a moment sometime in the next week to just sit down somewhere quiet on your operation and enjoy what's all around you.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I guess I should be nice more often.

     This week was the opening of the dove hunt here in Utah. This is usually a time of headaches for me...chasing off tresspassers and keeping track of who can hint where. Inevidably the opening day there are lots of wandering hunters that get "lost" or don't know where the property lines are. While I'm usually quick to snap and boot people right off, the farm, this thursday I just happened to be in a (rare) good mood when I stumbled on my first group of hunters.After talking to them for a whille, they seemed nice enough, so I let them keep on hunting with the understanding that it was a one day deal.
     I went on about my day working in my yard trying to finish up a cement project. This was a process that was taking me much longer than I had expected. As the day was winding down I had my sidewalk & driveway all formed up. Clark and I were just putting the finishing touches on the gravel in my cement forms, when who should ull uo but the hunters that I had talked to earlier that morning. They got out and said how much fun theyd had hunting, they all shot there limits! They asked what we were doing, and I proceeded to show them the little project I had going on in my yard. Turns out one of them is a professional concrete contractor and he offered to come and help the next morning and help!  Having only met him earlier that day I didn't really know if he would actually show up or if he was just full of it.
                 Fast forward to 6a.m. the next morning and guess who showed up just before the cement truck? That's right my new hunting buddy Justin! He actually came and did way more work than I could have expected. He did almost all of the finish work and did a much better job than I could have done. I'm good at puring cement that the cows approve of but I don't have that much experience pouring beautiful, colored and stamped concrete like Justin did! It turned out BEAUTIFUL!!
     While I ended up with a BEAUTIFUL stamped and colored sidewalk, Justin earned him and his friends a hunting pass for this year and years to come. The power of bartering is making its way back into society.  With the prices of things rising higher and higher every day we all have to learn to get the most of out of what we've got. I'm becoming a bigger fan of bartering everyday.
     Anybody wanna go hunting? I'm in a good mood!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What happens when I try to do yardwork!

     Ok just when I was gonna lay off the the blog for a day or two something happened that I just have to share.
     We are remodeling our front yard &house we had a huge tree that was dying. So we thought we'd tear it out before we poured our new sidewalk. Sounds easy enough right? I brought in my backhoe in and dug around the tree a little bit, then proceeded to shove it over. It took all my cat 420 backhoe had to push it over. What I wasn't expecting was the roots to be bigger than I was. They tore up the propane line to my house, as well as our phone & internet line going to our barn & offices.
     This is usually what happens when I try to do lil projects around our house or family farm. They take on a life of their own & take me considerably longer than I anticipated. It's Murphy's law I suppose. That's what I get for trying to help out in the yard, a 2 or more day fixup project. I wonder what will happen when I try to move our giant swingset.....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Farmers love the rain!

We had ourselves a nice little rainstorm this afternoon. Not only is the rain great for our crops, (in moderation of course) but it usually gives us a lil time to relax or spend with our families. I came in at 5:30 this afternoon. That's unheard of! Now we dont always get to do this but on the rare occasion that we do it sure is nice!  Like that Luke Bryan song says, "rain is a good thing!"

I know this is just a quick short post, I'm working on a nice big one for later in the week.