Had the opportunity to get away from the farm a bit this week and attend a Christmas dinner provided by Cobb. They have this every year and it’s called “State of Cobb”. Growers gather to hear about the business; how it’s doing, what to expect, and where we’re heading. It was good to hear that in a bad economy business has stayed pretty flat. Cobb hasn’t lost any business and in this economy that’s a plus. To stay flat the company had to gain market share and that we have done. Hopefully when everything starts picking up that market share will translate into sales gains. The leaders of this company are pretty ambitous andÂ I for one like that. There are some pretty lofty goals set. Plans for a new complex in Tennessee are moving forward as scheduled. There is talk of building a feed mill that will be company owned and operated to supply some or all of the complexes. Expansion in Kentucky is on the way with Cobb building a new QA facility in western Ky.. At one point there were plans to build some more farms here at this complex, now all that’s kind of up in the air waiting to see how growers develop in Tennessee. The Tennessee hatchery will be close enough that we could see some building of farms here to supply that hatchery if growers don’t develop in Tennessee. There were some negative things this year. The biggest of which was loss of birds to disease. We lost a substantial amount of money and production, but contrary to reports there are plenty of Cobb chicks to go around. Cobb is begining to offer some training to growers. Next year Dr. Anthony Pescatore from The University of Kentucky will be hosting classes in everything from Embryology to Industry Facts and Infastructure. I found it really interesting we got a letter in the mail fom Cobb telling us we could not take pictures of Cobb birds or inside or outside our houses. I feel like this was directed right at me. The best part is a few weeks later Cobb had it’s own company farm on America’s Heartland.
The kids are all doing good. Kaylees’ cheer team qualified to go to nationals in Myrtle Beach S.C. again this year. They actually had the highest score of the whole competition even edging out the Coed team from here. Garett is really taking to shooting his bow. I hope he stays interested in things outdoors. I was afraid he was gonna be an inside person. Madison won her division in the Miss Snowflake pagaent she entered. I think these pagaents really boost her self confidence. Katie is kind of struggling with school this year. She’s a freshman and it’s a whole new world for her. I’m trying to take a laid back approach for now. Her math is what’s really getting her. She has the same teacher that BJ had in college. They both say she’s not much of a teacher. MoreÂ like show you once, give you the assignment, and you’re on your own. I remember my grandmother telling me that when she taught she felt like if the kids didn’t learn it wasn’t their fault it was hers. Sure wish we had more teachers like “Granny Ball”.
Just as soon as I said the weather wasn’t much like winter we got a nice little blanket of snow. It got kind of nippy too. I had to scramble and get some of the fans covered with plastic at the chickenhouse. We cover about 6 of the fans in the coldest part of winter to regulate the temperature. I noticed during this little cold spell that one of the cows is getting really slow. I knew she was getting old, but hoped to get one more calf from her. If she calves before spring I’m moving her on. I should have about 5 calves to sell this spring. My plan is to sell the calves and buy back cows. Hopefully in a couple years I can have about 15 or 20. I would also like to get back into the rabbits. I’m looking for New Zealand Reds. Madison and Benji (our help) have been trying to get me to get some more pigs. This time around they want to raise piglets. My objection has always been you feed them more than you can sell feeder pigs for, but maybe with cull eggs and spilled chicken feed to supplement we can make a go of it. As fast as the colder weather came it’s gone. That meant high winds and rain. The wind blew the top off “the pig mansion”. The kids named it “the pig mansion” because they said it was too nice to be called a pig pen. Farm I is back together now. They disinfected this week and will be placing shavings soon. Chickens come December 23rd. Guess that’s my present. We made a few improvements to the older houses. We added doors to access the feed bins, reinforced the slats, replaced any slats that were damaged, and added a drain in the scalehouse of house 1.
While traveling to watch Kaylee’s cheer competition we ran across a Druther’s restaraunt. I haven’t seen one of these in years. Bj and I reminisced about the old Druther’s here in town and it’s Andy Dandytale Meal we used to get as kids. The one here started as a Burger Queen, then became a Druther’s, followed by a Dairy Queen, and finally a Long John Silvers and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Sometimes I wish time would have just stood still soÂ I could go back to all the things that made my little world go round when I was a kid. Life was so simple then. No responsibilities, no bills to pay, no kids to hurry here or there, grandparents that adored me. Of all that I miss my grandparents the most. They were truly spectacular people who I try to model my life after today. Katie was the only one of my children who was old enough to remember Granny and Pap. Garett was just a little guy when they passed.
Well I’ve written longer than I had planned. Lot’s to do and not as many hours to work with these short days soÂ I better close. Check out the pics I’ve added here. As always thanks for reading!