Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Moving around in North Dakota.

We were leaving for another farm, going more north on Tuesday afternoon. Since our next destination was only an hour or so away, we were not really in a rush. Well, honestly, we were not in a rush simply because we didn't want to leave. Despite of all the hard days on the farm we have really enjoyed a wonderful company and made new friends. The kids were asking to stay a bit longer, but we had to move on.

Julie and I took the cows up the hill to the pasture for the last time that morning and I was saying goodbyes to the lakes and the fields, and the beautiful landscape.

It's a well known truth that any business would thrive with enough positive support and encouragement. Luke, being the business manager on the farm and the grand planner, needed that support as much as he needed the ideas to run the business.

It was Julie who took the position of being his right hand and a full supporter. She has become a true inspiration for me. Being a mother, a wife, a house manager and a full time business partner, she did have a lot to deal with day in and day out. We all have a lot to deal with in our lives in our own eyes. I know that in my life, for example, I do as much as I can possibly handle at the moment. I do the best I can, but sometimes still seem to start running low on energy, patience and positive attitude. Now I've met Julie, and have realized that with the good attitude I could possibly handle much more.

Julie works too hard, and she knows it. But she keeps her head up high and her smile on, puts baby Gwen into the back carrier and goes about doing what needs to be done, whether it's weeding in their mini garden, or talking to the milkman, or kneading the dough. I will always remember Julie in her brown milking uniform, with a rip on the shoulder, her blond hair tight in a bun and her balanced way of handling things.

"If you think it's too much work now, you have to come and see what we go through in the spring when it's the calves time", Julie was telling me. "It's been really rough for us the last two springs, and we were really grateful when my Dad came and helped us out during the busiest time on the farm".

When they had just started their dairy business and knew nothing about it, had no help at all, sometimes they'd milk till 1:30 in the morning and drag their feet to bed feeling exhausted and discouraged.

"Before it gets better, I believe you have to hit the hard bottom", Julie was sharing her thoughts with me."And it feels that we've hit those hard bottoms a few times by now. And lately, it has been getting easier. We moved the milking time so that we can have dinners together. We have set up a room in the milking parlor for the kids to play while I and Luke milk the cows. We started getting more help and have been figuring out easier and more efficient ways of running our business. Our long term vision helps us to keep on going. Hopefully, we'll pay off the cows in a few years and they will finally start making us money. We'll build a new milking parlor, we'll expand our herd, we'll have employees and will be able to travel during the coldest months. Right now it is a lot of work. But we really like it. When other people are commuting home from work, we are outside on the pasture enjoying the company of our cows. It's important for us to be together and spend time with our children, learning ourselves and teaching them at the same time", she added.

So we didn't just leave Dairy By The Lake Farm. We have been sent on a mission and gotten a special assignment from Luke. He asked us to try to visit a dairy farm in Missouri, take notes and get a few ideas about building a New Zealand type swing parlor. We might become part time participants in implementing the master plan, after all! We'll try to find a dairy to visit, we could possibly come to help Luke build a new milking parlor, but there was only one condition from Mirek's side. Please, don't ask us to milk the cows, unless you really have an emergency!!!

Thank you and goodbye, Anamoose and Dairy By The Lake farm. Hello, Churchs Ferry and "Gardendwellers" farm!


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