This is our fourth year of farming, but that doesn't mean that everything is same old, same old. Like what, you ask? Here are the top ten NEW farming events of 2011.
10. We used a Kubota for the first time. It doesn't have the following of John Deere, but we'd never turn down a year's use of a tractor! It worked great.
9. We used big square bales instead of small ones. Kris likes them - you use machinery to handle them instead of lifting them, plus they stack nicely.
8. We got our first red and white Holstein bull. Can't wait to see the colorful calves next year!
7. We rented a chopper because ours broke during a critical harvest point. Until then, I never even knew you could rent one. (Or honestly, thought about it at all.)
6. I didn't see a calf being born. I live in a house surrounded by pastures where 300 cows gave birth. Despite my best efforts, I didn't see EVEN ONE of them take place. I did, however, see tons of calves seconds after they were born. Just think - the first sounds they heard were my dramatic sighs of frustration! Ah well, there's always next year ...
5. We used a snaplage bagger. That's one of my most-read posts. It may be the price of corn or it might be the new fashion for 2012.
4. We modified a golf cart and turned it into a calf cart, which Kris uses to feed fresh milk to the calves. It's useful ... and fun to ride!
3. Instead of feeding milk replacer to the calves, which is like baby formula, we exclusively fed them our cows' fresh milk. This meant changes in schedules, changing milking procedure, modifying the building, and using a calf cart - but it seems worth it.
2. I drove a tractor for the first time. It was a short ride, I performed no useful task, and Kris was sitting beside me giving much-needed instructions ... but my kids still talk about it.
1. We built a barn. Our first barn, but probably not our last.
Happy 2012! Here's to another exciting year of farming!