So - a conference full of young farmers and bankers? Of course it was fun. I was especially glad that I had the chance to talk to and get to know everyone throughout the conference. There were all types of farmers - sod, cranberry, forestry products, of course dairy - and it was just interesting to hear about all different types of businesses.
My talk was about thinking beyond your business and engaging with neighbors, public officials, and the public, and after I served on a panel with Jessica Ziehm, Bill Peck, and David Haight. It was so interesting and fun to do! Smart people, great conversation, good questions.
I was dying to get downtown to see the famed capitol building, and Jessica kindly gave me a whirlwind tour! The Egg was a bonus - I didn't even know about it! Everyone also pronounces it ALLbany - not Albany, as I was, and Jessica said it's so small they sometimes call it SMALLbany. This was also funny to me, because you know ... my town is a tad smaller.
Thank you to everyone at Farm Credit East and at GenerationNext2!
Meanwhile on the farm ...
We are drying up cows today. This is a huge deal, so big that I have written about it in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 ... you get the point.
Why is it a big deal? You have to prepare cows to not be milked. You can't just stop milking them and expect them to just deal with it.
They're not going to be milked from now until they have a calf. This way, their bodies can concentrate all their resources on getting ready to have a calf. Then, after they have calves, they'll be ready to produce milk again.
Yes - cows have to have a calf to continue giving milk. Jessica Ziehm organizes a Dairy Cow Birthing Center at the New York State Fair, (visited by 250,000 people each year!) and she said that people are continually amazed by this fact. I assume they just never think about it. Cows give milk, period, is what people think, and don't think about how or why until pressed. We can't all think about everything at all times!
We already were contacted about two different types of tours on the farm for May and August. When calving season starts, so does tour season!
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