Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Early Mornings & Late Nights

That is the way of life for farm families. Everyone in the family is involved from the youngest to the oldest members. It is a great way to spend family time, but it also can create tension between generations. Older generations want to do it the way it always been done and younger generations like to try new and innovative ideas. This can spark agruements and heated debates. However it is the responsiblity of both generations to weigh all the facts and discuss the details to make a decision on what is profitable and doable on their operation.
Our dairy is semi-modern in my opinion. We don't milk by hand however we don't have a robotic or revolving milk parlor either. We don't feed in the barn or microchip our cattle but we do use the latest research on establishing a health plan for our cattle that does not include the use of BST. We A.I. most of our females and have developed a comprehensive feed plan with our nutritionist. We like most family run small-medium size dairy operations are in the middle of the road. Still holding on to traditions and getting by with the lowest overhead possible. I believe that in the future we will expand to include a creamery and more value-added products to increase our market share. Just the other day I heard a comment that is so true it's sad..."farmers are the worst marketers ever!" We don't market our products well enough for the normal consumer to know the true value. That is sad. How can we as producers become better marketers of our products?
Below are pictures of how we do things on our dairy farm. Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Congrats Rachel!

Way to go Rach!

This past weekend was the South Carolina State Fair dairy show. That means Nana, Pop, and Rach were out of town from Thursday-Sunday. That let us shorthanded at the barn. Wyatt and I pitched in and fed calves, bedded calves, and pushed feed. Wyatt of course had to ride the tractor a few times as well.

Rach had a great weekend winning Grand Champion Brown Swiss at the Open and Jr. Shows and winning All Breeds Showmanship! We are all very proud of her hardwork. Shows continue through the end of the month. This week will be another busy week around Nance Farm as we have four shows.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cool mornings and just perfect afternoons that describes McConnells in October. For us this time of year equals lots of work. Show season is in high gear with at least one show a week if not more. Silage needs to be chopped before the first frost (around the 15th of the month). Fall activities to attend keep adding up and hunting season is just around the corner. Not to mention calving (both dairy and beef) are in full swing. Today we are chopping silage. The field is about 100 acres. William cut about a third of it early and we just finished hauling six loads but were hoping for ten. My father-in-law cut a few more rows so hopefully we can get those chopped before milking time.

I love this field not only for the abundance of forage it has produce for us over the years or the face that in has been in William's family for generations. I love the atmosphere, the open space, the border of trees that circle the beef pasture in the distant, the view, and most of all the house that sits on the edge of the field. Its been featured in movies and loved by the whole community for its simple but elegant style. This is the time of year I wish I could freeze and live in all year. Little man enjoys this time of year as well. It s perfect weather to be outside all day long. The silage field and show barns are some of this favorie playgrounds. I can't believe how blessed I truly am.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Show Season

Show season as kicked off at the Nance Farm and is in full swing. Rachel has been traveling across North & South Carolina since the middle of August showing dairy cows. Most recent was Cleveland County Fair in Shelby, NC. She had a great showing there sweeping the Brown Swiss show and bring home lots of blue ribbons with her Jerseys, Holestiens, and Gurenseys.

With all that showing there are less hands around the barn. William's been a little later getting home in the evenings and Wyatt and I help out when we can. We probably should really help out more often. When we leave the dairy we still have work to do at our home with the sheep, hay and beef cows. It can be quite a long day sometimes. Keep checking back. I am going to try to do better in the coming days and weeks about updating you on daily activities with blogs and pics. Have a great day!

Mornings come early around the farm and everyone has to pitch in.

These are some photos I snapped last week of Wyatt helping push up silage at 6 a.m.