When the last few months of the year roll around, we tend to recognize the blessings and gifts that surround us. We become hyper-aware of the things we have, the people we know and the circumstances we’re in. Maybe it’s because it’s during the holidays or because the year is coming to a close and offering us a time to reflect. Maybe we’re thinking of gift giving and feeling extra thankful for those we have the opportunity to give. Whatever you’re feeling thankful for this season, don’t forget to include farmers on that list.
Farmers work hard all year to ensure the safety and quality of life of their animals. They also make sure we receive wholesome food to put on our tables each day. Here are ten key chores a farmer does to keep the farm running all year long.
- Feed the animals
Animals have to be fed every single day whether it’s a beautiful sunny day or in the middle of a blizzard. School may get out for a little snow; but farmers never take the snow days off.
2. Milk the cows
Cows are milked twice every day, but they don’t spend much time in the milking parlor. However, farmers can spend hours here depending on how many cows they have.
3. Fill the water troughs
This can get a little tricky in the winter since the water may freeze overnight. Farmers have to make sure the troughs aren’t frozen and contain fresh, clean water all day, every day.
4. Care for the baby calves
Calves need extra care on the farm to make sure they grow healthy and strong. Farmers feed them, give them clean water and make sure there is plenty of straw to keep them warm.
5. Monitor the cows’ health
Farmers are jacks of all trades. They also act as the cows’ doctor, monitoring their temperatures and checking that they are healthy. Some cows wear pedometers to see how active they are. If a cow is inactive, it may mean she’s not feeling well and will require some extra attention.
6. Ensure the milk is safe
Farmers do more than just care for their cows. They also care for YOU! Farmers must make sure their milk meets all necessary requirements before sending it off. Farms are inspected at least twice a year so they must be in compliance at all times.
7. Work with the nutritionist
Dairy farmers work with nutritionists to make sure their cows are receiving all the nutrients they need to keep them healthy.
8. Manage the business
Farms are businesses too! They pay close attention to the economy as it affects their business and make adjustments if necessary. They hire employees, pay taxes, and make sure they are producing a profit and managing their expenses.
9. Clean the barn
There’s no maid on the farm. Farmers and their families keep the barn clean so their cows can be comfortable and healthy.
10. Fix what is broken
Equipment breaks, but new isn’t always a viable option. Farm equipment is often costly and needs to last a long time. Farmers find ways to fix what is broken so they can stay in business and keep providing the best milk for you and your family.
The next time you take a bite of food or a sip of milk, remember to be thankful for the ones who provided it!