September 9, 2023 at 8:00 a.m.
The saying, “Check on your farmer friends. They are not OK. All their help has gone back to school," became real to us this year.
My niece, who has milked cows all summer, went back to her junior year of high school. She is also on the tennis team, and they practice every night after school.
Our son headed back to school last week and is on the football team. They too practice every night after school.
Is there some kind of clause that farm kids could practice during the school day so they can be home for chores?
I'm only kidding, although it would be helpful.
School sports are great, as kids learn so much about being part of something and being a team player, but it sure makes chore time extra interesting by managing practice pick-ups and games. And yes, we could just not allow afterschool sports to be played, but you only get to be a kid once and have the rest of your life to run a farm.
So, we will find a way to manage until my two favorite team players are back.
This picture is a throwback to the first day of 4K, eight years ago. I was milking when the bus came for the first day of school this year.
It probably wouldn't hurt to send out a memo to the cows letting them know I would appreciate full cooperation on their end. Yes, to you, first-calf heifer, who decided not to go in the parlor. I may look and act strong, but I cannot push a 1,200-pound defiant heifer into the parlor myself. Oh, and to you, group of Angus steers, who have been out on pasture all summer, please no more testing the fence. It has been on my list to address the weak part, and I thank you for reminding me.
I did learn a valuable lesson this week. When having young steers out on pasture, feed them with a utility vehicle at normal feeding time. They learn quick that it is the food provider and will follow it wherever, even right back to their pasture.
As we adjust to new schedules and routines, here's to all my fellow farmers cheering on their team player. I am right there with you, secretly counting down the practices and games. All jokes aside, wishing everyone headed back to school a safe and successful year.