While I was gone, Kris hosted some people from New Zealand. They were looking at joining Cooperative Research farms and wanted to know what Michigan dairies are doing. I was sorry to miss them, but remembered while they were there that I wanted a picture. I texted Kris and asked him ... then, knowing he wouldn't look at his phone during a tour, I texted Aaron, our nutritionist that brought them. He does look at his phone!
We also had some work done on the barn. Since the cattle are out on pasture or in the barns, we didn't have anywhere to treat them except when they're in the parlor. (For instance, the other day I watched Kris treat a hoof on a cow while she was standing in a freestall. It works, but it's not the easiest way.)
So these are called headlocks. After leaving the parlor, if a cow needs to be 'sorted' into the pen, you just herd her into here. Kris cited the specific instance that if you need a cow to pee on a stick to check for ketosis, doing it here instead of in the parlor is much easier. I know what you're thinking - cows are peeing on sticks? Answer - sometimes, yes.
Last week I also had a Dairy Communicators meeting through our milk co-op, Michigan Milk Producers Association.
Many of us were recognized for various year-milestones of holding the position. I hit five years (and got a lovely and fitting ice cream scoop) and just was thinking back to when I went to my first meeting. I had a million questions - how to get into schools, how to get dairy promotional items, etc. Now, just five years later, it's a regular part of the schedule!
Also there were interesting people there ...
Katelyn just graduated college and went back to her family farm. She said she's most interested in the health aspect of cows, and right now she's working on that ... as well as what her dad doesn't want to do.
Leona Daniels did a great lesson on how best to do a dairy lesson in classrooms and at other events.
And I sat with these friends, who have great farming blogs! Check them out -
Farm Barbie - Barbara
Messy Kennedy - Ashley
One of my favorite moments of the meeting was when we all got up and introduced ourselves. A friend at my table stood up and gestured to the newborn she was cradling in her arms under a blanket. She said, "This is Oliver nursing under here, and he's three weeks old."
Is there a more fitting place to introduce yourself while nursing a baby than at a Dairy Communicator meeting?! Only the Le Leche League.
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