Wednesday, August 7, 2013


It is with a heavy heart that I have made the very difficult decision to disperse my entire herd.

The past 3 months have been full of medical and financial issues that do not look like they are going to improve any time soon.

My cows have always given me great joy and sanity.
The best education I ever received was from these gentle, patient bovines.

However, many different circumstances and changes in my life, recently, have concluded that the herd go to a younger farmer whose body isn't as badly beaten up like mine is.

It is a miracle that this younger farmer came into my life when he did.
He knows and admires the breed and wanted the entire herd.

My herd will join his smaller herd of rare breed beef cattle plus his wife's milk goats and poultry.
They have started a CSA of cheese, milk, meat and eggs and will be growing their business.

Better yet,, the herd will remain in Vermont, just an hour away from me, in a very small rural village.

And of course I have visitation rights!

With the intense heat here, I have been visiting with the herd in the evenings when it is cooler and they come out of the woods to resume their grazing.   It saddens me to know for the first time in decades I will not have my cows.

They are all leaving next week, in the cooler evening, and it is taking a lot of coordination between hauler, farmers and cows.  I want to spend as much time with them as I can before they leave these green fields of home.

Not to worry, I will continue posting photos of my beloved herd as well as all other agricultural subjects..

Life will go on. It will just be...different.

And I believe this change is for the best.

The new owners are ecstatic that the herd is coming to them.

And I am fortunate to have met the right kind of people to transfer my beloved herd to.


  1. I'm sorry that you are having to give up your herd. That must be very difficult. I'm glad that you found a good person to take them in. You will know that they are well cared for, and it sounds like you will be using those visitation rights. :-) I hope with the coming changes you will find new opportunities.

  2. Oh Janis! I am so sorry but glad that you were able to find them such a good home and that you get visitation privileges!! {{HUGS}}

  3. At least they will go to people who share your care. And you can visit! All the enjoyment and none of the work! Kinda like being a grandparent!
    You can always herd cats or dogs~

  4. It is difficult. We did the same last year when my husband's health made it impossible for him to continue. At least you will have visitation rights - our limousin herd was sold at a dispersal sale so they went all over the country.

  5. It is very,very difficult - we dispersed our herd of Limousins last year as my husband's health meant he was not able to give them his best. Consolation is they are going to a good home and you have visitation rights - ours were dispersed all over the country. I miss them

  6. What a hard decision to have to make!
    I am happy that you found someone close by and you trust!

  7. So very sorry for your difficulties, I could surely see how much you cared for your herd. You seemed to have hit the jackpot in finding such great caretakers for them, however. It must make it so much easier having to come to this hard decision. I hope things turn around for you, and that you get to see them happy in their new surroundings. Caring thoughts coming your way...

  8. Oh I'm so sorry to hear this, and that life is tossing you the hard stuff right now. I hope things improve soon for you. Thinking healing thoughts your way. Glad to know you will still get to visit them though. x

  9. I know EXACTLY how you feel. I've come to the same place and have slowly been trying to find the right place for some of my colts. It's hard, but change usually is and I'm excited for another chapter in my life!

  10. Change is definitely hard sometimes, but you were very fortunate to have run into people who will love and take care of your herd, just as you do. It's nice that you have visitation rights!

  11. Praying for better days to come. May God guide you always and give you hope when you are down.


  12. I am so sad for your cows and you. I hope they have a good home and glad that you care about them so much. To most they are just a source of food and money.

    I'm just so sad about this.

  13. Change is hard, but often we really have no other choice... may you find peace in the transition...

  14. I am sorry this is happening to you. If I only had time to look at one blog yours is the one as I dearly love your cow stories. Do you suppose the new farmer might pasture some of the cows at your place in the nice months. Free food for them, good to keep the pasture open and enjoyment for you.

  15. It is the hardest deciion of all to rehome beloved animals wether it be a herd of cows or a dog etc. big hugs blog stranger

  16. Janis -
    very difficult decision to conclude that selling the herd was the best decision you could make for yourself & the herd, I realize it was not a decision you made lightly.
    As I have followed your for the past couple of years, I have seen how much you love all the animals and see each one as an individual personality that you have developed a unique relationship with. I have admired your inner-strength that took you through the most difficult of times as well as the super human physical strength that many of the jobs on the farm have demanded of you. There were a few times when you have struggled in the midst of the herd when I have been concerned about your safety and wondered how much longer you could push yourself to do physical labor that would challenge a young man.
    It can be nothing less than divine intervention that the perfect young couple appeared at just the right time to purchase the entire herd. It is especially great that the herd will be staying in your beloved Vermont and be they will be helping to build the couple's business venture.
    Sometimes it is arriving at a decision that is difficult and once the decision to sell had been made it was liekly a hugh relief to you. While there are still a lot of work to do with your other animals, you will not have to struggle with the bovine like you have been. Last Winter I recall all the times when you had to go out in freezing weather to feed the herd, only to find them lounging in the hay feeder that they had somehow manahed to find their way into. Then just after you had ectricated them they would find their way back in. Crazy making, but so physically demanding too.
    I am gald that you have visitation rights and since the herds' new home is only an hour away, I can see you & your camera making a few day trips out to see that they have settled into their new home.
    I know ir will seem strange to look out and not see the herd grazing in the wood, they have been part of Tailgate Farm for many decades and seemed a permanent part of the landscape. The positive will be not endandering your health and depleating your physical stamina.You have clearly made a good decision for yourslef & the herd. I know you will miss each one of those crazy bovines, you treated them better than a lot of people are treated in life and I am sure in their own way they appreciate the way you cared so well for them over the years. I hope you have spent this past week getting to say your personal good-byes. I hope your health & stamina improve once you are not having to perform such heavy work and do not have the responsibility for the herd. I am amazed that you were able to manage for as long as you did. You are an amazing Lady Farmer. I will look forward all the photos you will take when you take a trip out to visit your friends out at their new home.

  17. sorry!
    It sounds like you found the perfect people, though. I'm glad you have visitation rights.

  18. May I say that I have great admiration for you. You have made a difficult decision, one that I know must cause you much sadness. But, though that sadness is there, you have endevoured to make sure that the herd you love so much is going to continue to be loved. In my mind, that is the action of a true lover of the wonderful animals that you have. I wish the new couple much happiness and luck as they go forward. And, I wish you much happiness, and good health in whatever you do next.

  19. What a hard decision to make, but it will be for the best, for you, the herd & your new young farmer friends.
    We don't have cows of our own, we "borrow" a neighbors cows which graze the fields surrounding our home here in Normandy. I love to look out of my bedroom window in the early mornings and see them right up against our garden wall.
    Visiting from Alphabe-Thursday.

  20. This must be a very difficult change for you...

    I am not sure it is by chance or luck that you ran into this younger farmer who lives so close to you though!

    Losing such an important part of your life won't be easy but at least they are right up the road a ways!

    Lovely post for the letter "L"...

    Thanks for linking.