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Thread: What I aint/What I am

  1. #1

    What I aint/What I am

    I posted this on the www.mytractorforum.com and I know a lot of people on here also belong to that site. Still there are a lot that don't snd since it was a big hit, I thought I would post it here for what its worth. Its about farming, more of a old class of people than really a career choice.

    Well I'm not a veterinarian...

    but I have lived and worked around so many cows, bigs, chickens and sheep that I know what hardware is, know where to find some magnetics, know ow to be a mid-wife to a birthing cow and know when is the right and wrong time to give a cow penicillins.

    I'm also not an electrician...

    But if a rat chews a hole through a wire I know enough to grab some romex, make my way to the electrical panel and put in a new wire. At the same time I can change the contactors on the milk tank pump, hotwire a tractor and can get the generator pumping enough KWS to power the farm when the electrical power goes out.

    At the same time I'm no mechanic...

    But I have plenty of tools and am not afraid to use them. Between what I have learned, what I do know, being able to troubleshoot with the tractor dealer mechanic, I have enough confidence to tackle the gear box of a bushog, the transmission of a tractor, or replace the bearings in the chopping head of a silage chopper...even if I have never done it before.

    I'm also no accountant....

    But I do know that spending 9 grand on Urea will produce 15 tons per acre instead of 9 tons per acre, and that amounts to more feed, which will feed more cows and produce more milk. I also can calculate that buying a 25 grand green bay wrapper will give me 20% more milk production, and thus pay for itself in 1 years time or better. I'm no pencil pusher, but by God I can put black inside a ledger.

    I can barely spell Industrial Hygentist so I am certainly not that...

    But no matter how tired I am at the end of the night of milking, I know I can't cut corners. Peoples health are at stake. I must clean my milk line, my tank, my cows and my parlor properly or people could get sick...real sick.

    There is no fancy Chiropractor certificate on my bedroom wall either...

    And every night my back hurts from all the lifting, pounding, prying and work I have done throughout the day, but I have learned that if I press my back hard against the milk tank and push, I can get my back to crack a few times and keep myself working. It sucks, and its painful but there are people that rely on me, but well get to that in a minute.

    Now the last thing I am is a Geologist....

    But I know right now the back 40 field needs more nitrogen, the Davis Place needs more alkaline, and the Kates place more phosphorous, or maybe some 10-10-10 even. I hate working all day with cow manure, but I got plenty of that and since I step in it, work in it, play in it and have so much of it, I know what it can do...both good and bad.

    So since I am none of these noble things, what am I...?

    Just a dairy farmer, that all, who sells his milk to a company called Agri-Mark. They typically use milk to make powdered milk and send their products all over the nation, mostly to fast food chains. So the next time you are in McDonald's, order a milk shake, take one big gulp, tip your straw to the Northeast and smile. Because there is a lot of hard work in that chocolate shake, but if it tastes good to you, it was all worth while.

    God bless every farmer on all points of the compass...
    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
    rob durfos Guest

    who you are

    ahmen, Travis! there are a lot folks i know, particularly younger,that would greatly benefit themselves with a dose of your energy, ethics,knowledge,and fortitude. my best friend is a farmer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    You left one out, Travis...

    You're no writer...

    But you have a great ability to tell an interesting story or heartwarming experience in a way that is enjoyed by thousands of eyes across the Internet.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    travis, you could substitute "hillbilly woodbutcher" for dairy farmer in most, if not all, of those
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
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    I've always thought that running a family dairy farm has to be one of the most difficult jobs there is. I knew one family that hadn't been to church or taken a vacation for more than 25 years because the milking had to be done. Another missed his own daughter's wedding for the same reason.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #6
    Frank...

    Just last week I was sitting in the cab of a combine chopping corn with the guy that rents my fields. He said this, and this is a direct quote...

    "I kind of like running this thing Travis. I always took care of the cows while my Brother took care of the fields. Its kind of a nice change...I have milked cows every day for the past 33 years...

    Now keep in mind, this guy was actually working as he said this, and it was a Sunday so in affect he was still working. The thing was, he was not lying, he honest to goodness had milked cows that long, and every day.

    Today you here of baseball players and whatnot that played x number of games consecutively, and we are all supposed to be impressed or something. Not me. I figure farming was the best thing that happened to me, because no matter what I do for a trade, or how bad the day goes, I know at 5:30 PM I am done for the day. In dairy farming you minds well throw away your watch. You are done when the last cow is milked, the last heifer fed and the milk lines cleaned out.

    I spent the first 20 years of my life on the south end of a north bound Holsteins and Jerseys. It was hard work, and I missed a lot of my childhood. Looking back...I would not change a thing.
    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!"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    You left one out, Travis...

    You're no writer...

    But you have a great ability to tell an interesting story or heartwarming experience in a way that is enjoyed by thousands of eyes across the Internet.
    Vaughn, this is kind of interesting. This was brought up on the MTF Forum as someone asked me if I ever considered writing for a living. This is what I wrote. I will copy and paste it to save some typing on my part.

    Originally Posted by Winze
    Drawbar:

    Have you ever considered writing for a living? I always enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up.


    The short answer is yes. I actually considered writing magazine articles and tried twice, writing about some funny and trying snowmobile trips I went on. The mags I approached were not interested, so I was discouraged and never really considered it again.

    I do have two "books" I have written. One is a full length book based loosely on a set of triplets that died tragically in a house fire near us a few years ago. I used the towns anguish to write a story weaving in railroading (I did that for 10 years), sabotage, local history and Maine's future into a fiction story. I wrote a rough draft, and then followed it up with a good second draft edit. It still needs more editing to glean out some boring spots, but has been sitting on my desktop in MS Word form for a year with no activity.

    The other "book" was a childrens book called Pumpkin the Railroad Cat It was about a 14 year old cat that we had living at the railroad engine house where I worked. I have had a lot of people read it, and enjoy it. Its meant to be read to a child or grandchild seated in your lap on a good rainy day. For anyone that wants, take the link, print it out and read it to your little one.

    Its kind of funny because I feel one of my greatest accomplishments was writing my novel I titled "Derail." You hear of so many people saying they want to write a novel someday. Well its harder than it sounds, and the first time I wrote The End, on it, it was a very satisfying moment. Even if it never gets published, it feels good to say I wrote a novel.
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Travis,
    My Dad's family is from Tenn...many farmers among them. I used to go down every summer while other kids were goofing off...to work the farms. It was the best time of childhood. My uncle grew tobacco and had ~75 head of milkers...which he and my aunt milked everyday for 52 years. On his 79th birthday they just sodl off the cows and rented the land. He always said it was much easier than when he was kid laying on his back with a jackhammer digging the tunnels for roads. Two of the kindest...smartest people I have have every know. They treated me like a son...

    Today...as I constantly review resumes for new engineers...one thing that gets them hired...I grew up working on a farm. The ones who worked a farm (4 now) have always turned out to be the hardest working...most dedicated...and most importantly have the most creative minds. They have no issues taking on the toughest problems. It just comes natural...

    Love your story...brings back some great memories of some great people.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Travis, as I said, I view dairy farming as perhaps the hardest job one can do. Personally, wouldn't, and didn't get into it. I had beef cattle. At least, in the summer, I could take a few days away while they dined on grass. In the winter, I had extra feeders and would just put out a couple extra round bales then go hunting, or whatever, for a couple days. Of course, in extreme weather or during calving, it was not a time for sleep or making excuses. But, even when breaking pond ice in cold rain or snow did I ever ask myself, "Am I having fun yet?" I knew the answer, always, yes. Loved it. Miss it.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
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    You farming guys are nuts. Thank you all for your insanity (meant with total sincerity). It's time for me to go for lunch and enjoy the fruits of your toil and labor!

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