Life on the Farm

Mathew White, BNN Reporter

It is easy to forget the labor behind the milk that you pour on your cereal or in your coffee each morning.  The following description by a high school farm hand may help you to appreciate every drop!

1:30 a.m.: As I start my day I get up and get barn clothes on and get ready to start heading the barn. I get to the barn about 1:53 a.m., roughly. I go into the milk-house and I go to start up the machine and after I do that I head over to the other end of the barn and get the sawdust cart and fill that full. Then I bring the cart over to the start of the milking order.

Shortly thereafter, I go to the milk-house and fill up the pre and after dip holders and hook them onto my belt, then proceed to grab the milking machines and bring them over to the starting lineup.  Then begins the actual milking process: apply the pre dip on the teats, grab a towel and wipe it off, then put on the milking machines. Once the cow is done giving milk, you take off the machines and apply the after dip.  Then you grab a shovel full of sawdust and put the sawdust under the cow so they can bed down. Move onto the next cow and just keep going through the line of cows until you’ve done the line. Once you complete that, you move to the other side of the barn and do that row.

But once we start that row, we send someone to start working in the calf barn and take care of all the chores in there, such as shovel out the gutters, clean out pens if needed, and move cows around when needed.  Once those chores are done, we start feeding the older cows in there.

We proceed to grab milk for the calves that need it. By this time,  the milkers are on the last stretch.  After the milking is done, we put all the milking machines in the milk-house and clean everything that was used. After that,  someone does little tasks such as give cows shots if needed, or go and breed cows.

While someone is cleaning the milk-house, the other workers proceed to feed all the cows. Once the feed has been been given out to all the cows, we go get the grain cart and give each cow grain. Once that is done, we go into the calf barn and give grain to the older cows.

Finally, you put everything away and start to shut off everything. You leave some notes for the next guy coming in for the next shift, so he’s aware of what has been done and what else needs to be done.

7:30 a.m.: Finish up and go home and rest for the next shift, which begins at 12:00 p.m.