Farmer Jim

“Have you talked to your Mom?”

“No. Why?”

“We got the cows preg checked…”

“Oh…”

“Not a one is pregnant.”

For any livestock producer this news is devastating. Just last week I heard this from my dad at the local gas station when we met for the morning chores. For a full time farmer this is a total loss. Equivalent, in my eyes, to becoming laid off and loosing your job without a chance to find a new job till the next season.

My family and I moved to Amish country almost 7 years ago. Mom and dad have wanted to build a house since they got married nearly 27 years ago and it finally become a reality on the land that has been in my dad’s family for over 100 years. That’s right, we are first generation farmers on a Missouri Century Farm…… My dad’s family has a history of farming in the area. He worked on relatives and family friends farms growing up but his immediate family did not grow up living on a farm and I grew up in town. When I was starting my Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) when I was a Green Hand in FFA my dad was buying his first load of commercial cow/ calf pairs. Going through the experience of buying cattle, starting a working farm and transitioning into a farm family was a dream come true for this city dweller.

Since my dad has a full time job in town hearing that our bull went sterile was hard but there are worse things that could have happened and our family is lucky that selling calves is not our only source of income.

We keep the cattle in a small space so that it is easier to work with each animal. It also keeps the farmer safe.

Regardless, we still had a list of errands to run that morning and work to do on the farm. We have a small commercial heard of 12 momma cows. If you take a ride on our four- wheeler they follow you around like puppies because they think it is my dad getting ready to feed them something special. After we got done with our errands in town dad and I’s plan was to “work” the cattle. We had to move the cattle into the pin and bring them through the shoot. We had to pour dewormer and fly medicine on their backs, tag 2 of them and then keep the bull back since we would be getting rid of him at the beginning of the week.

We tag our cattle so that we can keep more accurate records for each animal. It is like when we get our ears pierced, she did not like it too much so she started to lay down. But what girl doesn't like new jewelry?

Even though we have a small opperation going home to visit the farm and being with family is one of my favorite things to do. When dad has stuff to do on the farm he calls it his chores and getting to spend last Friday and Saturday helping do “chores” is okay by me when it gets to be with Farmer Jim.

Dad walking to let the cattle back out into the field.
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