Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Celebrations!

As you venture off to your Labor Day celebrations tomorrow, we at Orange Patch Dairy will begin the process we know and love as "Corn Silage Season". Yes, it is time, the corn is dried down enough to be chopped, hauled home, and packed into large 250 foot plastic bags. These bags will store enough feed for all of our cows, heifers, and calves for the coming year. Corn silage is the primary feed in our cow rations, as it makes up about 35% of the total diet (50 pounds per cow each day). We will be making about 2200-2400 ton of corn silage this year, and we hope to finish it by the weekend (5 days start to finish). Therefore I might not be blogging in the coming days but I hope to be gathering some great pictures and video from the farm to show and tell about silage season. But I do have some thoughts on Labor Day I wanted to share....

Dairy farming is a hard labor filled job, but ask any dairy farmer and they would tell you how much they love their jobs. It's a dairy farmer's passion and drive for what they do that helps them through tough years like this year. It is their love of their job, cows, and nature that helps to get them through each day and forces them to wake up each morning only to repeat it over again. Right now we aren't getting paid to milk cows, but in fact we are paying an admission fee to go to work each day. How would you feel if your boss was standing at the door each morning collecting a fee to enter and do your job? It wouldn't feel too good, but for a dairy farmer, there are so many other "gifts" of the job to make it worth while. I wake up each morning looking forward to the next baby calf, the next gain in milk production, a pretty sunrise, fresh cut hay, the next new surprise. It's honestly fun to know that even if the the daily tasks are the same, the days are still filled with a variety of surprises, some better than others. My father, who also dairy farms, often stated "Well I am at least doing this for exercise"...referencing milking cows during low milk prices. I have been doing dairy farming for exercise for a few months now, but I am still not complaining. So as you enjoy your Labor Day, honoring that we all have the ability to work, please think about the people responsible for the food on your table....the farmers, the employees, the processors....they all work hard to ensure that you have safe, wholesome foods for you and your families. It a labor of please make sure that we are not working in vain and enjoy all the great dairy products, meats, vegetables and fruits that you can.

Happy Labor Day!

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I write this blog to share my passion for my cows and farming, please be respectful of that. I reserve the right to delete those comments which portray hate, call names, and are out right disrespectful. If you have an honest question, I will respond, to explain what we do on our farm, why we do it and how we do it. Please read with an open mind. My time to blog is short, as most of our days are spent caring for our beloved cows. Thank you!