Not enough can be said about having good neighbors. So often in the "rural" areas, we depend on good neighbors. It's so much more than walking over to borrow a cup of sugar or glass of milk....it's depending on them when you're really in a pinch. I can't count the number of times we've helped pull a neighbor out of a snow bank, helped chased cows back into their yards, or helped fix a flat tire. The best part....is that our great neighbors repay those same favors back!
On Wednesday, Jon was working diligently to finish the last of our 4th cutting of alfalfa. We had some much needed rain on Monday night/Tuesday morning which delayed harvest. I needed to leave to the MN State Fair on Wednesday, so Jon was working solo, with help from some of those great neighbors (and family too!) Wouldn't you know it! Right before I was about to leave, I got a call! Jon, "Do you have Greg's number?" Me, "Yeah, why???" Jon, "We've got a problem, that chain I was going to fix when we finished alfalfa broke and we only have 4 hours of chopping left" Me, "Hold on, I'll get it" Minutes later, Jon goes flying by on the 4-wheeler, headed to Greg's place. Turns out our good neighbor Greg had a spare part that we needed to fix our silage bagger! Lucky for us, he was willing to let us have it, and replace it later. Without Greg's help our alfalfa would have become too dry for silage before we could have drove 1.5 hours to get the replacement part. We are definitely grateful for Greg's help and more than willing to pay him back!
The other "neighbor" issue on our farm is also a good one! As we have been working on the next step for our dairy farm, we have also been working on renewing our permits to have dairy cows. Yep, you got it! We have to apply for a permit to have cows on our farm. It's not a right to have cows, it's a privilege! Part of the permitting process is to go to each of our neighbors to notify them of our plans and of the public county meeting, where we will find out if our permits will be approved. The great part about notifying our neighbors, is that it gives us another opportunity to talk to them about what's going on at our farm. Jon's been especially enjoying the conversations about how we care for our cows. We know living next to a dairy farm isn't always glamorous. Our cows make manure, and manure stinks. We try to be conscientious of when we haul manure and where we haul it. We also know that when we are in the middle of harvest, our tractors tend to make a lot of dust on the roads. We are SO GRATEFUL for understanding neighbors! How great it is to talk to them about improvements we want to make to be a more "neighbor-friendly" dairy farm! We also make sure that all neighbors know we have an "open door" policy. Any time our neighbors might want to stop for a visit or stop to talk about a concern...the door is always open! We value our neighbors, and want to make sure that they can value us as well! God Bless all of our Good Neighbors!