Tuesday, May 10, 2011

letter to the CDT

Dear CDT,
( I know this is longer than normal, but I think people need to know how it affects a family when they have decided to sell their cows and give up being a dairy farmer !)
The other year there was an article about us in the CDT . We told the reporter ( Nick M. ) how the low milk prices were affecting us and many other dairy farmers. We were close to being a Century Farm and just hoped we could hold on long enough to become one. Well , we are in the middle of filling out the application now and we did hang on long enough. It is something we are very proud of. But, after 39 years of being a dairy farmer , we have decided to sell our dairy cows. It was not an easy decision and it is going to be a sad time . On Friday , May 13 our cows will be loaded and taken to Centre Hall to the cow sale. For 39 years we have gone to the barn morning and night . We have milked the cows, fed them , tended to sick animals and were at the barn all night if there was a problem . Our cows all have names , mostly picked by our grandkids . Names like Miley, Hannah, Jones, Chocolate and Bluey. It is going to be hard to adjust to suddenly no longer go to the barn and do our barn work after doing it for 39 years every day . Friday morning we will feed the cows and milk them. They will be loaded in our friends trailer and taken to the sale. Saturday morning there will be no cows to milk or feed. The stalls will be empty . Our 18 month old grandson goes to the barn with us in his stroller. He knows in the morning we get our barn clothes on , get him in the stroller and go see Pap and the cows. He is going to be too little to understand why there are no longer any cows in the barn. A friend on Twitter ( JPloves COTTON) said it best : "The image of a grandson and granddad no longer having that reason to put on their boots and head to the barn may permanently reside on my eyelids." I am sure there are going to be tears when the cows are loaded and heading out our lane. To many farmers this isn't a job , it is a way of life .

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