Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shutting down rumors & stating the facts...

Well it looks like the 'ol Rumor Mill of the local small towns are up and running once again.  As our family enjoyed the area county fair this week, several of us were pulled aside and asked some peculiar questions regarding our dairy farm.  As it turns out, these questions were based on rumors which were started by some confusion regarding a legal notice in the newspapers.  So, let's start with the rumors:
  • No, we are not milking 3 times a day, we just have some odd hours of operation, therefore the lights never really shut down.  Also, often times, such as tonight, Jon or I are out in the barn treating or caring for a cow or calf.
  • No, we are not currently milking 600 cows...we only have 240 milking cows on site, which are shared between Jon & his dad.
  • No, we are not adding cows, and we are especially not adding 600 cows.
So, now for the facts....
  • This week we have a meeting with the county commissionors to approve the final stage of our expansion/updating project.  Recall, that last year at this time we were refused a permit to build a lagoon since our proposed lagoon did not meet county regulations, but we were granted a permit to build a new barn.  Now, we are seeking a permit to build a new lagoon, one which will meet the requirements of the county law (providing us 12 months worth of manure storage for our cows).
  • But the legal announcement states that we're building for 400 cows.  That is in fact true.  We're building a lagoon that will be large enough to store 12 months of manure for 400 cows.  However, we do not have 400 cows, we only have 240 cows, and plan on staying at that size for several years.  The truth of the matter is that since the permitting process is such a battle, we decided we'd build an oversized lagoon, which allows us the ability to build another barn for additional cows in the future without having to add a "mini" laggon to the proposed lagoon....otherwise we would be adding lagoons over and over again, and that's not practical.  BUT...we want to abide by the law, so we're being up front and honest.
Seems like once the fire got started, it burned way out of proportion!  I am glad that so many neighbors and friends were willing to ask us in person.  We're definitely open to answer questions and addressing concerns.  We're looking forward to this proposed lagoon for several reasons, but the primary one is the environmental issues related to manure.  The county granted us the right to haul manure everyday last year, but this is not practical from a time management stand point nor is it from an environmental stand point.   We're looking forward to being able to better control and manage our manure nutrients, aiding us in growing excellent crops to feed our cows.  We're also looking forward to hauling manure only in the fall, when we can control the field conditions more readily.  So...I hope that cleared the air, stay tuned for more updates.

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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!