Refresh your week with your free subscription to Sylvan Sundays, arriving with a beautiful farm or nature photograph and some … Continue reading Sylvan Sundays
Granted, my original stint was only for a summer, but that definitely counts.
During my senior year of high school, I visited with Gary Truitt, a long-time farm broadcaster who had just started a new company called Hoosier Ag Today. I had been interested in radio for a little while and used the news source while studying for FFA competitions. I asked Gary if I could job shadow him, and he said he’d need to make sure I could visit when he went out and about to interview people.Continue reading “I’m Back in Farm Broadcasting”
Calving season has continued to have its bumps, but there are 11 calves on the ground.
And now, lambing season has begun!Continue reading “The Start of Lambing Season”
The rain pours today. Sheep hunker down, round balls of wool with faces. Cattle munch on hay. Horses enthusiastically chomp on grain. The dog curls up on straw piles in the barn, tail wrapping around ears.
Calving season started last week, two weeks early. Four calves have been born; only two have lived. Most of the mothers have been heifers, first-timers.
I ride a quad bike through the cow pasture, counting to 31 to see that everyone is present.
The number was 32 for a little while.
But when I made my rounds Thursday night, looking for signs of new or about-to-be-born calves, I found a heifer lying to the side. She wasn’t breathing hard, but she didn’t move when I approached, either.Continue reading “The Start of Calving Season”
I wrote this announcement on Facebook and Instagram and wanted to share it here, too.
The 16th of each month is special for Jeff and me (Elise), as the day marks how many months we have been married. So it only seemed fitting that today be the day for a Special Announcement.
As we began our new life together, we knew we wanted to farm. We also knew that we wanted to both preserve my farm heritage and incorporate Jeff’s specialties, creating a new path with an exciting future.
So today, we wanted to share the name we have chosen for our farm and agritourism endeavors:Continue reading “A Special Announcement”
Some losses are worse than others.
Yesterday afternoon, we discovered that our beloved ring sheep, Szarlota, was dead.
It was devastating. She was the first Shetland I bought, and she had won her class at a show in Colorado. Her genetics and conformation were good, and I planned to build a flock from her quality and beautiful personality.
She’d come up for a scratch on the chin, and the day I went to buy her, she followed me around, begging me to take her home. (The full story is at the end of “Sheep Make Everything Better“). Continue reading “Our Ring Sheep”
The kitten climbs everywhere: up the hitching post, down the horse stall, up into a hand, down a pants leg. He’s curious about the water that comes blasting out of the hydrant in the barn; at first, he ran away from the frightening crash, but now, he wets his whiskers in the stream. Continue reading “Kittens in the Barn”
The Shetlands started lambing on Saturday. Twin ewes from Maserati were the first to make their appearance. It was another … Continue reading New Lambs
Every time I attend an agricultural or writer’s meeting, I leave re-energized. I am surrounded by positive people who are interested in similar topics and who share ideas that I can implement in my own work.
It’s important to be part of these associations, whether it’s a group that meets to play tennis once a month or amateur geologists who meet at state parks to discuss the features along a creek.
Working as a farmer and writer, I am involved in two occupations that are currently known for the isolation that is seemingly written into the job description.
But it wasn’t always this way. Large crews used to gather hay by hand, and writers would congregate in the same cities or universities and bounce ideas off of each other. Continue reading “Associations”
This is me.
I’m in the barn on the farm where I grew up, holding the first lamb to be born there in seven years. She’s one of the realizations of a tightly held dream: to be a farmer and shepherd when I grow up.
Ten minutes after this picture was taken, I nearly fell, my knees giving out, suddenly becoming desperate to lie down.
That was nothing new, though. That sort of thing had been happening for several weeks because of weird health issues. Those challenges have continued, but we’re getting closer to an answer. Continue reading “This Is Me”