Friday, November 16, 2012

Fridays on the Farm

In an effort to blog more frequently, I recently decided on several daily writing prompts (to get me started and keep me focused). Based on the day of week it is, I will add posts accordingly. I even thought I figured out how to type them in ahead of time and then I set them to what I thought was a setting that would post them automatically. Silly me, guess I won't be a techie when I grow up. Sigh..........
In my further need for cutesy titles, I decided on Fridays on the Farm for todays post. Since this is the first installment, I'm going to attempt to do a 'history of' post.....or at least as I know it. My actual knowledge, based on being a witness to events of historical importance around our farm spans almost a quarter of a century.
About the time I was a Senior in HS, I started running around with my cousin and his friends, we hung out quite a bit in the neighboring town, as he had a job there. Well, in time, I met and fell in love with The Farmer. First we were friends, best of friends, then by the end of my Senior year we were dating. The next few years were college, wedding, then before long it was babies. I didn't grow up on a farm and worked in town before our kids were born, so my ag education came right along side of my kids. The last several years have been spent in the trenches of parenthood, some of the times depending on the date, it's 'seasonal single parenthood' as The Farmer spends long hours working during planting and harvest.
As our children have grown, my involvement on the farm as evolved. I am sometimes the parts runner, the gal who picks up stuff at many an equipment dealer, parts house or feed store, could probably tell you where most in the 50+ miles radius are located and how to get there. I have slowly (very slowly) became a decent truck and stock trailer driver, but if particularly accurate backing up is required, I am always more confident-----when one of the boys are with me! :) I have done some of the field work, but honestly we have generally always been blessed with many hands who are more capable and I am generally put on 'chuck wagon' duty, which I happily take on. I think I can cook up a hearty meal that competes with the best of them.
During the busier times when The Farmer needed to spend more time in the field, I have been the evening chore girl, feeding what needs 'supper' around here, four legged as well as two. I have been known to dump trucks, pull silage wagons, hay wagons and more. Over the years I have slowly gotten to where I can usually do the requested job without having to have a 'full lesson' and of course now we have cell phones and I can call if I am unsure.
So since I am not a 'back bone' piece of the daily operation, I try to do what I can to make sure everything else runs smoothly. Whether its taking the meal to the field, mowing the grass, or being both mom and dad some days; I like to hope that's a contribution. I sometimes say I am in the 'future employee development' division of H&K Farms. It's gotten to the point as our kids have gotten older that I could manage to add some other jobs to my main one, as mom. I now substitute teach in the buildings my kids attend. I teach sewing and quilting classes. I sew for others. Those are the paid things. I also strive to 'Agvocate for Agriculture' through social media and this blog.
Now that I have gotten side tracked and rambled on about the very minor contributions I make to our farm; I'd like to offer a virtual picture of H&K Farms. The actual farmstead we live in on was purchased by The Farmer's parents when he was 6 yrs old. Before that they lived in Warren County MO. The west bound rest stop near Wright City on I-70 used to be part of their farm. They have lived in Monroe County for 40 yrs.
We have a diversified farming operation. We row crop corn, soybeans and wheat. We bale alfalfa hay. We have a large herd of mostly registered Angus cattle, its primarily a cow calf operation, we no longer feed out many calves, except for the kids show animals and a few we sell as butcher beef. Until about 5 yrs ago, we also had a farrow to finish hog operation with 75-80 sows. We do custom baling. The Farmer sells seed corn, and our partners, his sister and her husband, are ABS dealers; so we do a little of it all.
A typical day changes almost daily for The Farmer. Depending on the time of year, he is likely to be doing almost anything. Every morning, 365 days a year, yes even Christmas morning, there's something to feed. This chore might take less than a hour or most of the day depending on weather conditions, time of year and where the herd is located.
Maintenance is a good job security activity on the farm. There are miles of fence that needs to be maintained. There are hundreds of head of cattle that depend on The Farmer for food, assistance in maintaining their health and require him to provide them with a safe and healthy place to live. There are multiple tractors, trucks, combines and pieces of machinery that need to be fueled, require properly moving parts, might need to be lubricated, repaired or properly stored until their use is called upon next season.
There are acres and acres of land spanning two counties and 4 separate pieces of property. This land, in order to be profitable and take care of our family financially, needs to be productive. On some of it we raise row crops, other parts are set aside for hay production and yet another part is this real estate is home to our cattle. This ground all needs to be fertilized regularly, weeds need to eliminated and the part that is in production requires long hours spent preparing, planting and maintenance and if we are very lucky, it will yield a harvest that will support both our ongoing business and our family. This cycle is in constant motion.
Then there is the 'book work'. This might be paying bills, figuring the pluses and minuses in order to pay taxes, it might be recording information in the herd book, or logging what chemicals were applied into which field. It could be researching for a new purchase, whether that is a feed improvement or more proficient piece of equipment. Its reading about new advances in animal care, an improved computer monitor system for a piece of equipment or the combine.
After writing the rough draft on and off this afternoon while subbing at school and thinking about all that The Farmer does, I truly find it ironic when I ask 'How was your day?' and he says 'Same old thing'

Reading alot of sewing and farming blogs and writing alot of the same and really wishing I was doing more of the things that I only seem to have time to read or write about as of late,
From Tulip~

No comments: