Sunday, May 6
Keeping the Faith
Occasionally, actually not as often as you probably think, I succumb to the "endangered species" feeling.
The feeling that "us" as in "us farmers" are in danger of becoming extinct, and as with any endangered creature we be come less and less understood.
The past couple of weeks that feeling was beginning to overtake me, what with the "dust complainer" and the co-op shifting gears.
I was getting pretty down in the dumps.
But I was keeping calm and dairying on! (That's for you Chuck:).)
Anyway, just when I was convinced all hope for humanity was lost, yesterday happened.
It happened to me.
After a looooong day that started at 3am, my Church came out for a tour.
(They actually just wanted to pet baby calves...and that's OK too.)
My pastor, Brad, called me to inform me that the expected "20-30" was actually 44.
It's a good thing Imma people person....heh.
After hanging up with him, I immediately called The Heat and had her ready the reserves! (i.e. Mercy and Taylor.)
I was gonna need help.
Then I breathed into a paper bag until the bus got here.
I was worried, I won't lie.
Worried about letting them down mostly.
Worried that there was a lot of build up and then it would turn out to just be a....farm.
So I gave the girls a pep-talk and headed to meet the bus.
The beautiful thing about the Rio Church that I attend, is that there are people from all walks of life.
No two people are alike, the only requirement is an open heart.
There was a wide variety of ages and backgrounds.
From "city girls" to people who were raised on a farm.
It was awesome.
Our first stop was the baby calves..I mean really, who can resist?
Gus saw the crowd and came over to see what was shakin', then ended up staying to be petted and loved on by everyone.
He's a sucker for attention.
After the calves we went to the dairy barn where I talked about feed and tried to convey the fact that it's more than meets the eye.
I admittedly get very excited about what I do, and end up wanting to tell them EVERYthing I know.
I need to just start hitting the high-points...babies, milk and poop.
If I had a handout those 3 topics would be the points of interest.
Anyway, we walked through the barn and I explained the flush system to them, and how we are able to flush the manure out of the barn before each milking.
-Over half appreciated the sentiment, but not he smell.
-A few boys were worried about whether or not we take the cows out before turning the water loose(we do).
-3 people wanted to see it done.
-1 kid wanted to surf it...until he saw that it was recycled water...heh.
The culmination of the tour was the milking parlor...ze grand finaleeee.
...and the manure pit was right up there as well.
I tried to explain the milking process, but really it's one of those thing you have to see to believe.
So they did.
They got to see one of my cows milk 50 lbs...she brought her A-game.
The kids and adults asked lots of questions, which I really appreciated, and genuinely seemed interested.
One child was too embarrassed to ask his question which was, "do you have special cows for lactose intolerant people?".
I wish he had.
I would have responded with, "Of course we do! We keep them separate and feed them a special diet of almonds, coconut and soy".
I know it was hot, and most of them got bored, but maybe one day they will be able to tell someone about that time they fed a baby calf and let it suck on their fingers.
I don't know that I could have felt any closer to God.