Life of a Farm Blog

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Ever feel so overwhelmed with things you want to scream HELP? That’s exactly how I’ve felt lately. Since September 18 we’ve had our sell date pushed off every week, now til October 23rd. We are down to 3 employees on the farm now and it’s thrown us all to a 7 day a week work schedule. Somehow we are making it. We’ve managed to get the second cutting of hay wrapped up along the way. The highlight of haying this year was the addition of the New Holland 570 square baler. After putting up 400 square bales we have affectionatley named them “idiot cubes”.  There is so much work in squares it sure makes you wonder if it’s worth it. I didn’t have but a little over 100 rolls this year so the squares should help us stretch the hay through the winter. I’m thinking that the drought in the Southwest combined with flooding in the Northeast will cause cattle prices to decline pretty significantly this winter. If that’s the case I’m going to try to pick up bred cows or cows with calves by their side. I’ve sold off all my calves except the 2 smallest. If prices stay up they will go by the end of next month. Just as I thought calving was over for the year I noticed a new black speck in the pasture. After thinking about it and checking the calendar I realized it’s time for it to start again. So far we have 2 beautiful black specks streaking across the pasture and giving chase to the bigger calves. It does my heart good just to stop and watch. I’m thinking this will be the last year we keep JR. our bull. He has gotten so big we can’t handle him. He’s plenty gentle but sometimes that’s a bad thing. He could hurt or even kill you just playing.

Just like the calves, the kids are growing by leaps and bounds. Just as Madison’s school basketball season ends Garett’s academic team season begins and Kaylee’s fall football games are in full swing. It seems like every night of the week one of them is at some sort of game or meet.  Throw Jujitsu and spare nights at the school practicing basketball and riding bikes in the mix and there’s no rest. Madison has been asked to play in a traveling league this year so there seems there won’t be any off season for her. We’ve decided to wait and see how things develop with Madison before holding her back a year to mature. I get a lot of negative comments from people about holding her back for basketball. I always respond it’s not life or death, it’s much more important, it’s basketball and this is Kentucky! Of course I’m joking, but noone should doubt basketball is almost that important to us here in the bluegrass. I know it was that important to me as a kid growing up in these hills and hollers cheering on Joe B Hall and the likes of Roger Harden, Dirk Minnifield, and who could forget the “Twin Towers” Sam Bowie and Melvin Turpin. I want to give her every opportunity to compete at the college level and if being a year older will help her then that’s what we will do. I don’t worry about Garett, he’s ready for college now. As a matter of fact he’ll be taking the ACT in December as part of Duke University’s talent search program. I think maybe I need to be setting the record straight to him early though. He’s from Kentucky and I can’t have him going to Duke. That would be worse than Louisville. We still haven’t forgotten that shot heard round the bluegrass!

The tractors are still holding up great! This makes thousands of hours and 7 years of Mahindra tractors and no major breakage on any of the 3. I’m sad about it and hate to see it go in a lot of ways, but the 6000 has outlived it’s usefullness here. It’s just plain too big to use in the poultry houses and we have the 7010 for outside work. It’s really hard to look back and imagine a time when that tractor did it all. It will make someone a great tractor for a small beef cow operation. I try to look at the upside of selling or trading it. A new 4035 PST will be a great second tractor for helping out with inside the poultry houses. The sloped hood and curved boom loader will make it great for a lot of tasks outside too. I may even go all out and add a 485 Mahindra Bradco backhoe. Of course the apple of my eye continues to be the 8560 cab. I hope to grow by either buying or leasing land and increasing my cow calf numbers. I haven’t had much of an opportunity to get out and talk to folks about leasing land because I’m seemingly always in with the chickens or gone with the kids. It seems the long term lending sector is pretty much frozen too. Farm Credit Services is very tight with money to expand right now. If anyone knows of another source to try I’d like to hear from them. I’d even be open to rolling my whole note over to someone new.

There’s more to do than ever before so I better end for now…be sure to check out the photos and video I’ve added to Flickr, Facebook, and You Tube. Thanks for reading!

2 Responses to “Overwhelmed”

  1. Jeannie Says:

    By the Grace of God, Man you have a heavy load on your shoulders. The Good Lord, is helping you manage. I haven’t read all your posts yet, but I am going to.
    Reading your Posts brought back alot of growing up memories.
    I remember started working as a kid. Starting at 10 years old, on a large farm, milking cows, feeding pigs, feeding and picking up eggs from a lot of laying chickens (not Tyson Chicken Farms) and working in too many acres of crops! This was in Virginia. I know what you mean about not much time for anything but hard, exhausting work, every day. I missed alot school days, having to stay out of school to work on the farm from daylight and nightfall. Sometimes even using flood lights to see what we were doing. In addition to canning and freezing huge veggie gardens, and harvesting large acres of watermelons and cantelopes. Trying to beat the frost.

    I think You were okay for suggestions to help you make ends meet. Sir, I applaud you for raising 3 children and doing that heavy farming too! I don’t know how you do it!

    Do you have any winter months off, other than feeding your cattle and chickens? That is a full time job, just the two of those. Anyway, I live in FL, and some things I can suggest that would help out. These are suggestions that might be helpful. I hope so. I’ll be Praying you can catch a break. FL crops aren’t doing all that great. We have alot of rain here, but for some reason when we go to Plant City to get fresh produce, thinking it was locally grown in FL. Only to be deceived, when we ask the seller, and they tell us. Oh it was shipped in from California, or overseas. What a let down. I don’t go to Plant City anymore to buy produce to do my canning veggies, and make my jellies and preserves.

    If you could make a plant bed, with all kinds of veggie plants and fruit like watermelon and cantelope and honey dew plants started. You could sell them to about any well-known stores here in FL. You could also sell the actual veggies and fruit here also. And get a good price for them! We would at least be relieved we are not supporting overseas Produce, but U. S. grown Produce more local than California. Its just a thought. There is also a huge Agricultural warehouse nearby where I live. I could get you their address. So you could have a Major Contact to see how to go about transporting your home grown Produce and Fruit to the State of FL. Alot of people purchase from this huge Agricultural Warehouse. Even flea market, and roadside Produce sellers, as well as a huge market for all the stores that sell grocery items, Produce and Fruit.

    If I can think of anything else to help you find ways to pay your Mortgage I will post it here. I don’t have your email address. My email Address is :

    With Prayers of God’s Blessings upon you and your children,

  2. admin Says:

    Thanks very much for the ideas…I have intended for several years now to grow produce on a smaller scale and sell locally at farmers markets, but just never seem to find the time. My dream is one day to be able to truly manage this operation. I’d like to add a greenhouse, corn maze, petting zoo, small pay lake, and horseback riding. I’ve kind of focused my energy recently on expanding the cattle and goat herd. I really enjoy working with cows and goats. Unfortunately I find my time stretched so thin I seldom get to enjoy it.
    Thanks for your comment and ideas! God bless!

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