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Thread: I forgot what real work was like...

  1. #1

    I forgot what real work was like...

    I am not sure if everyone knows but I was laid off a few weeks ago as a machinist building boats. Its no big deal really and as luck would have it, two snowmobile accidents left the big farm with 2 injured hired hands. With nothing to do, a family farm that needed help, well it was easy to see what I would be doing.

    Its been awhile since I have been on the south end of 700 north bound cows, and I can tell you this...I feel like I actually worked this morning. It was non-stop work too. The shift starts at 1AM so we can get done milking by 10 AM. We have to do that because the milk trucks picks the milk up at 10 AM and it has scheduled cannot be delayed. The evening milking shift will start at 1PM of course and run to 10PM...20 hours a day of non-stop milking...but with a different crew of course.

    In terms of production, every day this farm ships about 32,000 pounds of milk (4000 gallons) with 4% of it being butter fat. Annual production is 10 million pounds,or 1,250,000 gallons. At around $1.50 per gallon, its a sizable small business really.

    I'll just say, I am glad I have a place to go when the economy gets bad even if it is hard work and kind of smelly. I know others are not so lucky. I figure I may be a little tired, but there is nothing wrong with getting back to your roots either. Milk anyone?
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    You think you were working hard? How about them cows? They have to work both shifts.

    Actually, the 1:00 to 10:00 AM sounds like it'd be tough. But if you're busy, I guess the time goes quickly.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    New Springfield OH
    I'll just say, I am glad I have a place to go when the economy gets bad even if it is hard work and kind of smelly
    It's just the smell of money
    Throw Apples out the Windows, but make sure not to hit the Penguin.

    If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can’t be done.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Mickley View Post
    It's just the smell of money
    Not right now its not its the smell of cow poop as feed is at recored highs and milk is at less /100 than it was when I was milking in the 70s and still dropping. I used to have $20,000.00 milk checks twice a month and a $30,000.00 feed bills to go with it AND its worse now.

    The Dairy farmers are hurting bad right now.

    But note that the milk in the stores hasn't dropped.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    I worked on a dairy farm one summer when I was in college.

    Hardest work I ever did, but the friend I did it with and the guy I worked for made it all worth while.

    That summer convinced me to go back to college and get my degree.

    I have nothing but respect and admiration for Dairy farmers....
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Kea'au Hawaii. Just down the road from Hilo town!
    Some stores here in the Hilo area get 10 bucks a gallon. I'm glad I've become somewhat lactose intolerant!

    I think I mentioned in one post.... I hate milking cows!!!

    What goes around, comes around.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    I had beef cattle and would never even consider dairy farming. I believe it has to be one of the hardest jobs there is. You have some help, but small family only operated dairy operations tie the owners to the farm with no let up. I have known dairy farmers who have never had a vacation. One who couldn't go to church until he retired. Another who had to miss his own daughters wedding because he had to milk.
    And kids think milk comes from the supermarket.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    Growing up, my mom would take us to a milk farm to get our matter what time we arrived they were always milking....I didn't understand that until I was much older. Best milk ever though, and butter, and mayonaise and...yummy!
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    sorry to hear about the boat gig downturn, but also glad that your family business has room for you, will that continue once the two hands are back in shape?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I can remember spending summers helping out some of my Uncle's family run their dairy. Seemed to be a never ending task, but they always made time for church and family.

    We've got a local family here in KC that has been working hard to become independent from the co-op groups. They have a lower output as they don't put the cows through as much as they could, don't use hormones, and IMHO have a much better product. They even use the glass bottles. They've had a new marketing group working on their products, which has really helped a lot with their business. Check them out...

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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