Winter does not necessarily mean time off for farmers and ranchers across the country. Although, I do take advantage of the longer hours of dark to catch up on some of my favorite reading.
The hay may be in the barn and the crops may be out of the fields, but there are still plenty of chores to be done after harvest and in preparation for the 2013 growing season. For livestock farmers, the winter may even mean a busier time of work as animals never take a day off and newborns may be arriving any day.
Here is a collection of blog posts from farmers, ranchers, and members of the agriculture community from across the country describing their winter month activities.
Winter Chores for Farmers
- Debbie Blythe, Kansas – This Kansas Flint Hills Cattlewoman does a great job of sharing her regular tasks and new events from the ranch. Be sure to check out her great images of Calving, and how she puts her kids to work on a Snow Day home from school.
- Matthew Boucher, Illinois – Matthew shares with readers more about how farmers are working to repair and maintain their equipment during the winter months.
- Marie Bowers, Oregon – Marie is a grass farmer in Oregon and the winter months are busy for this farm gal. Her family is busy making repairs to equipment, adding new features to a tractor, and checking fields for needed attention.
- Trent Bown, Utah – Trent Bown provides a regular Farm Report on the activities around his family dairy farm, including the arrival of newborns, cleaning up after the cows, making sure everyone is fed, and showing us more about the steps of delivering a safe milk supply.
- Ryan Bright, Tennessee – His kids are excited to see snow, but this dairy farmer realizes the extra work that comes along with it. Ryan even has a video included of feeding hay.
- Anne Burkholder, Nebraska – Anne, her family, and employees are busy every day making sure the cattle in her feedlot are comfortable, healthy, and eating well.
- Bill and Judi Graff, Illinois – Judi and her family spend the winter months feeding and caring for their Simmental cattle.
- Patricia Grotenhuis, Ontario – This wife of a Canadian dairy farmer shares a look at the work to care for their cows and prepare for Spring planting.
- David and Jennifer Heim, Kansas – The work doesn’t stop for this young couple on their dairy farm. In all types of weather, the Heim’s work hard to take care of the needs of their cows.
- Jan Hoadley, Alabama – Jan is busy as always taking care of her animals, protecting them from the weather elements, and working to cater to her direct market customers.
- Erika Holm, Wisconsin – Cows really do get stuck in the snow. A few years back, Erika caught a quick video of these dairy cows as the farmer was trying to dig them a path to the barn.
- Carrie Mess, Wisconsin – Actually made time to get away on vacation, but that doesn’t mean she left the dairy with someone to take care of and milk the cows.
- Greg, Nathan, and Kendall Peterson, Kansas – The Peterson Brothers take every opportunity to help the family on the farm when they are home from school. This year they have started documenting what life is like on the farm with a monthly video update.
- Nicole Small, Kansas – Nicole’s family is busy catching up from the harvest season, hunting for food, and getting more involved in the community.
- Val Wagner, North Dakota – A few years ago, Val described what it’s like to endure a blizzard in the middle of calving season. They are being hit by another large storm again this season. Val included a video of checking cows in the blizzard.
- Suzie Wilde, Texas – Suzie’s husband is busy on the cotton farm repairing fields from heavy autumn rains and making preparations to harvest Spring rainfall.
- Tim and Emily Zweber, Minnesota – Emily is looking for her husband Tim. He is busy during the winter months and keeps a full schedule on their Organic Dairy farm.
Winter Agriculture Industry Meetings
Many in the agriculture community attend educational and industry-wide meetings. Some of these are in warmer parts of the country, while others are just down the road in the same state. Here’s a list of blogs that feature winter-season Agriculture meetings. If you are close to one of the meetings coming up, try to attend and meet hundreds of farmers.
- AgConnect Expo – The AgConnect Expo was in Kansas city. Wyoming farmers Tyler and Liz Lauck, made a road-trip out of the event and shared their experience with the networking and farm show.
- American Farm Bureau Federation – This year the AFBF annual meeting was held in Nashville, TN on January 13-15. I had the opportunity to attend and be a part of the panel on social media in agriculture.
- Cattle Industry Convention – The Cattle Industry got together in Tampa, Florida during the first week of February along with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association trade show.
- National Farm Machinery Show – This trade show takes place February 13-16 in Louisville, KY. If you want to see some big tractors, this show is worth a visit. I had the chance to attend NFMS last year.