Thursday, June 23, 2005

Cows and Bulls

God, Family, Cows

Those are the three most important things in my world. I love cows. Its a hard thing to explain to someone thats not a "cow man". You just can't explain the feeling you get when you see a realy great cow. The tingle, the rubbery legs, the feeling of awe. Jersey cows are the bread and butter of our operation. Becouse of the income we get get from our girls we are able to live out in the sticks, have a garden, raise chickens, trap, hunt, fish, and do all the other things we love. We only milk about 50 cows and poeple often ask how we support 2 families without any "off farm income". Besides livin' cheap and simple, the answer is selling registered cattle. Breeding fine cattle is a multigenerational legacy here. Its my father's passion, it's my passion, and Lord willing it will be my childrens passion as well. We breed a "different kind of cow" here. We breed old fashion cows, not what I call the "New World Order Cow". Some how over the years people have forgotten the wisdom of those that came before us. Simple ideas, like cows breed the average of the inheritance, have been lost to some extent. The idea that if you breed a cow that has a wide chest, deep body, good legs, a wide muzzle, a shallow udder with a crease, and the right ballance of strength and dairness that she will live a long time and make a lot of milk is now considered to be backward. Breeding good cows is an art, always has been and always will be. Those that try to breed by numbers and fads will not have a legacy to leave their grandchildren. We make up for our herd size by having extra breeding animals for sale. We market cows in sales and sell them private treaty. We have many return custumers that like our product and come back for more. If you get the "fool idea" that you want a small dairy, don't rule out the registered cow. She will always pay you back in the long run.

When men were men, Men showed bulls

In the old days the best part of a cow show was the Aged Bull classes. These noble animals and their handlers were a site to see. I had the pleasure of knowing an old man that was a bull showmen back in his youth. The stories he told were great. Shows today don't have the old bulls anymore, on a count of saftey. They don't have many iron grandmas in the aged cow classes ethier, but thats another story.

3 Comments:

At 6/24/2005 4:02 AM, Blogger JM said...

Steve,

I'd love to see your cows! Any pics?? I work as a county extension agent in Indiana, and we don't have cows like you describe... The only dairies we have are 65,000+ cows that live a year and a half and then go to McD's... I was working at the Indiana State Fair Dairy Show a couple of years ago, and the judge for the milking shorthorns actually said over the microphone when explaining his placings, "I really like how this young man has shaped this cows udder, so I moved her up in the class..."

He literally was rewarding the kid for shellacing the cows udder "into shape."

JM

 
At 6/24/2005 7:17 AM, Blogger ks said...

Hi Scott,
I've been reading your posts for some time now and really enjoy them. I was wondering how much you sell your cows for? (Hope its ok to ask) When and if we ever are able to move and enjoy the agrarian lifestyle, your (healthy) cows seem like the type we would love to own. Not on the scale you describe, but one or two would be enough to keep our family in milk and butter.
Keep up your posts and we need to hear more stories about your boys.

 
At 6/25/2005 6:40 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...

J. Mesko

I'm working on getting some pictures up. There are a few good jersey herds in Indiana that I know of.

KS

Thanks for reading my blog. Prices depend on the individual. Some are worth more than others. I have sold a couple for $4,000 thats about the highest I've gotton. We recently sold 2 calves that were pretty fancy for $1200 a piece but those are the rare sales. Last year the high female at public auction was $60,000. Never had one of them :)


Scott

 

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