Friday, June 17, 2011

Tough Decisions

Sadly,  I just advertised for sale one of my outstanding cow/calf pairs and the yearling heifer, Jillian, that I wanted to keep as a replacement.

These are cream-of-the-crop elite bred and managed cows, but my hay and boarding expenses were extreme this winter and now I am paying for grazing rights on the farm.

Not having another consistent paying job plus paying for my hospital stay in March has me stretched beyond comprehension.  Not to mention the recent, very stressful truck replacement.   Something had to give..and in this case it’s the cows….again.   My part time job still has not gone full time yet and I have been waiting almost 16 months for it to.  The grants we rely on are not coming.    Reality is sinking in.  I may actually be laid off.

As it stands right now, looking ahead for the winter months, I will only be able to afford 4 cows for hay through the winter.  I always keep my older cows and most people prefer buying younger proven cows, So Gwen & GrandSlam Kate are the best candidates to go to a new approved farm.  Selling them will provide 2 months of hay for the rest of the herd this winter.

In Jillian's case her dad is coming back to the farm this year as a herd bull, so Jillian must find a new herd and a different bull to go to.     

The bull produces thick, muscled, heavy weaning, growthy calves so I will welcome him with open arms and a few crackers.

But I will miss my goofy Jillian so much.

Even wet, going through a growth spurt AND shedding her winter coat, she is balanced...and goofy.

She is also my #1 Graham Cracker consumer......

Not that I am pointing hooves.....

I am screening every call and email inquiry. Already talked to 3 folks who do not even have fencing or shelter for 1500 pound cows, but they are determined to buy some!    I gently educate them and send them info on basic requirements.  But there is no way I will be selling them my "heartstock"  
NO WAY!       

I am also making other plans to cut cow expenses:

I am planting a lot of squash this summer to supplement the herds outrageous Nabisco Cinnamon Graham Cracker addiction. $$$$

It is an unusual form of a  literal “cash crop” to cut the cost of their favorite treat way back… and save some cash.

I am also offering all those gardening zuccinni growers a place to dump their “over flow.”    I went to a greenhouse this morning and struck a deal to pick up all their squash and pumpkins this fall and anything else that is cowable.  
If I have to sprinkle it with cinnamon to make it palatable for the cows, I will!

That's my plan.

I have thought long and hard about this.

My entire paycheck went to assure the cows had all the hay they could consume this winter.    With no barns, they needed more food to stay warm.

Call me foolish, but its just the way I am.    My cows are my life.
You already know that.

Farming is important.      It's expensive.     It gives me stomach aches and ulcers.       But I love to farm.       It's in my blood.    I wish I could do more.
Wish I had land.  

I have gone from 20 cows because of the 'Big Move' last year down to 5 adults with hopes of growing my herd back to a number that will pay for themselves.

Right now its all about finances and what I can realistically afford with just a part time job and a few other infrequent side jobs.

Worse yet is that my Simmentals are aging.  I need to AI them in the near future, whenever we get a head chute, to a Simmental bull so I have a few registered heifers to carry on.       The clock is ticking.

My only wish right this instant is that someone who is on the "same page" as I am, as far as cows, finds my ads and then comes up here to meet the herd.

If I had another wish, it would be that the job I love would boost my hours to 30. ..with health insurance.

If granted a third wish, it would be to find an honest, hardworking farming partner.       Perhaps someone with a tractor.......

Keep your hooves crossed that my job remains so the rest of the cows can remain.


  1. I'm so sorry that times have been hard for you! I hope just the right buyer comes along soon, and that your job situation will change so that you can continue doing what you love! Blessings!

  2. How upsetting to have all this worry. I hope everything turns around for you and you can take care of your beloved cows without having to sell any. Good luck!!

  3. I am so sorry. I wish we could bring your girls here. We are in Ohio so that is a long way from you I think. We will be praying for you as your situation is tough. Turn your troubles toward God and cast your cares to Him. He will carry you through this.

  4. It seems like all over the place times are so hard. I pray you'll get a little bit of relief somehow. Your cows all look so healthy and have such personalitys.Hugs

  5. Those calves are so cute. I am so sorry that you are having this problem. Where there is a will there is a way.

  6. I wished I lived closer so I could help some way. It's so sad to have to sell your cows. I love Gwen now as I look at her pretty face on my web business logo. I would buy her and give her a wonderful home if I could. I'm pretty sure I like Simmentals best (after longhorns, always a soft spot for long horns). My daughter is moving out your way and I hope to visit her and get to see your beautiful Vermont. I'll remember you in my prayers. I hope things turn around for the better for you.

  7. I wish I could grant your wishes. I live in the middle of agriculture and my husband grew up on a dairy farm, so we understand your quandary. The best can be for your ladies to go to good home.