This is not just a dining room table.
This is where a lot of decisions are made.
And here is the latest:
At the beginning of the year we sat here with our bankers, nutritionist, herdsman, and dairy consultant. We discussed the farm and how we were doing. It’s been a very rough 5 years. We discussed and put into practice all the cuts and savings we could. We discussed how and if we could downsize. We discussed many scenarios.
Somewhere along the line we started talking about a dairy that was just north of us that was being leased by another farmer who decided to move his herd east. So, we knew the dairy might be available.
This facility is owned by a friend with like values and morals. He keeps his farm pristine, is a good businessman and has a great reputation in the community.
We worked several months putting together all the costs to create a satellite dairy. The dining room table meetings with all the players continued. Farmer and Son met with the owner and meetings with him began.
We decided we would do one thing at this location – milk cows. Any sick cows and dry cows would be brought to our main farm. All calving would be done on the main farm. The satellite dairy would be 100% milking.
After several meetings we and the owner came to an agreement.
Backing up a bit, we prayed right from the start for God to swing wide open the doors or slam them shut so tight we couldn’t get them open if we tried.
When it looked like it might be a possibility I asked in one of my private ag face book pages that we were looking for cows and wondered if anyone would have suggestions. I received a private message from a friend/acquaintance. They were considering leaving the dairy business because their son was not interested in continuing the family farm.
This herd is an award-winning herd, excellent in all ways. Farmer and our herdsman traveled to the east side of the state to take a look. They liked what they saw and after a few meetings a deal was made.
The owners took excellent care of the cattle until we were ready at the new dairy. We knew we were getting quality cows from wonderful people.
We figured out we would need six new employees and thought that would be one of the harder things to acquire since it has been a little tricky the last few years.
Six people came knocking on our door asking for a job – before we ever put the word out. Two couples and two other men. It’s been a learning curve for all of us, the employees and the cows. I have to say that I think our employees are awesome. We’ve had nothing but extra help from those on the home farm and the new dairy.
Somewhere along the line Farmer was connected to another farm up north of us. They had a similar scenario. Their son wouldn’t be able to continue the farm. Their herd was a high producing quality herd. That herd finished our need for cows.
The first of October we loaded 10 semis with cows to head west. Hauling cattle was another new thing for us – at least on this level. We’ve heard horror stories.
I would like to say Long Drive Farm Trucking was excellent in many ways. They were on time, took their time loading the animals and did it in a way that we would if we were doing it ourselves. Coaxing, whistling and a little prodding – never hitting, or abusing the animals in anyway.
One week later we traveled up north to bring home the rest of the cows. We brought five semi loads home.
We had a few glitches when we first started milking but we are getting them ironed out. The cows are settling down and getting into their new routine. We are working out a few issues with the facility that comes once you start.
Now, along with keeping the original farm going, and spending a lot of energy at the satellite facility we started chopping corn.
We will see how this all goes. Stepping out in faith for me is like taking a step into a flowing river, being told there will be a rock a few inches under. I know the Person reassuring me that the rock is there. Even though I can’t see it beneath the white rippling of water, He is speaking truth. I have to fight the idea that if I step and the rock isn’t there I’ll be swept down the river. I have to look at the other side where I want to arrive, purpose to move while reminding myself the trustworthiness, the dependability of the Person and His love for me.
Stay tuned for part two of this and why it took so long to get this blog out.