Welcome to 2015 on the Farm

Welcome to 2015 with a Scottish Proverb:

He that would eat the fruit, must climb the tree.

I love the holidays.  It is the one time of the year that I can truly take a break from my job and spend some quality time with the family.   It is also the 2 weeks of the year that I can finish up 2014 tasks and prepare for 2015 farm activities.  It has been a great year, we have finished building fence around the farm and installed automatic waters in all the pastures.  The kids “Goat Kids” just keep coming and the cows all have calves along side.  I am not sure if you could ask for much more.  Well I still am holding out hope for winning the lottery, but I think it is a requirement to actually buy a ticket.

I have not had the opportunity to actually introduce myself.  I am a Trafalgar native and graduated from Indian Creek High School and Purdue University.  After college, I moved to northern Indiana and worked as a vocational agriculture teacher at Lewis Cass High School before coming back to reside in Trafalgar.  When Amy and I were married, we came into this union with the understanding that there was a few things that would take priority in our lives.  We are active members of the Trafalgar Christian Church and spend countless hours volunteering in the community.  We decided early on in our relationship that a helpful giving heart that is full of the lord’s blessings will move more mountains than any man alone.  Sometimes our volunteer activities are hectic, however at the end of the day we are happier and less stressed because of them.  Next comes the family.  I give thanks every day for living on the farm.  To being able to share the triumphs and frustrations of agricultural life with my wife and children is worth any issues that might arise.  Finally my job, I am software architect at IBM and if you would have asked me 18 years ago I would have never thought about computer science as a career. It is hard to believe that when I was in college in the early 1990’s, the job I have today was nonexistent.

2015 unloading bales
Welcome to 2015. Unloading bales


Yesterday was New Year’s Eve and as usual we were out trying to get a couple of things completed.  My daughter, Emma  is thirteen this year and loves being outside doing the whatever we have planned.  We needed to haul 88 bales of hay from a farm about 20 miles away back home.  It started as a joke.  It was cold, very cold and I told her that I would be happy to haul the bales home, if she would unload them that way I could take a quick cat nap before going back for the next load.  I unloaded the first load in the lot and showed her how to operate the skid steer and you know that crazy little girl literally jumped out of the truck each load to unload and stack the bales.  She was so darn fast, I did not even get the opportunity to take my nap.  These bales will be used for the cows and goats as supplemental feed for the winter.
At home, Amy and Levi were caring for the latest set of triplets.  There are so many things that we need to learn about goats and everyday is a reminder that we do not have all the answers.  Poor Levi is fifteen years old and loves all living things.  His heart is so big that he could support a 100 goat kids with just one beat.  However sometimes life does not allow for even the most caring to win the battle.  We lost little “Lucy” last night.  She was a 7 lb beautiful little doe, however she just was not strong enough to make a go of it.  Levi was out in the barn and in the house loving, warming and feeding this little girl all day.   To see him tube feeding and bathing her makes you wonder if maybe he will choose a health care position in the future.

So what do we have planned for the new year.  I have been in enough planning meetings to know that brainstorming ideas and outline goals is a great way to kickoff any new project.  And yes 2015 will be a new project year.  One of the first activities for 2015 will be to finish putting electricity in the barn.  We have lights and some outlets but there is still work to be done.  Gates! You can never have to many gates and so we will continue to build them throughout the year.  This spring we will over seed all the pastures.  Grass is the cheapest most efficient form of feed we have on the farm and it we will be our job to maintain and enhance it in the coming year.  I would like to build a new barn for “kidding” this fall.  Levi will be sixteen and I bet he will be interested in driving.  He will need a place to park his car in the coming year and I need more kidding space, so it sounds like that would be a great opportunity for a double win.  We need to build a new bucket for the mini excavator, so we can effectively clean out the ditches around the property.  The calves need ear tags for identification and the goats need more hay feeders.  Actually there are so many things on the list that it quickly becomes overwhelming, however if you don’t get them down and start setting priorities it will be December 31st before you know it.

One last quote for the day.

 It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. — Eleanor Roosevelt 

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