The other day we had an opportunity to visit with one of my wife’s co-workers and her husband. They live just up the street from where my wife and I lived not long after we got married so it was fun to drive past there and show the kids.
They have a beautiful new house tucked back in the woods on 16 acres, it is idyllic. We were able to have dinner and visit for awhile which is always great. The kids even got to play some pool and meet their grand kids and play with them for awhile.
One of the main reasons for our visit was that they wanted to show us my wife’s coworker’s uncles farming operation. It was just a few minutes away, and quite impressive. I am repeating any stats from memory so forgive me if I get them wrong.
They have a large milking operation milking over 3,000 Holstein cows, which they milk pretty much 24 hours a day. They have about 3,500 of their own acres that they farm, and then lease that many more which to my mind is an amazing undertaking.
We were able to see the milking parlor briefly, and the amount of automation that goes into that is a sight to see. The stanchions for feeding the cows while they get milking are all automated and raise up when the cow is done milking, allowing the cow to leave the milking parlor.
In the barns where the cows spend a lot of their time, the cows each have their own waterbed for laying on to rest. Apparently it helps in their digestion.
The kids were then able to see some of the calves in one of their calf barns. When you have an operation as big as theirs, calves are being born just about every day, and sure enough we saw a calf that was born that morning. It reminded me of last spring when we bought five steer calves to raise.
The last stop on the tour was the swimming/fishing pond and what I will call the party barn. They have created an amazing spot for their family to have get togethers and visit. They have the swimming pond, to which they added a zip line, water slide made out of plastic culvert pipe, and a couple swings that swing out over the pond. They also have a sand beach volleyball pit and a soccer field. The party barn was a big open, very nice barn that had bathrooms and plenty of space for the family to gather. They have a set up that I am envious of, and someday hope to have similar.
It was a very impressive operation, and I was honored to have it been shared with our family. I can’t imagine trying to manage that amount of property, animals, or chores. Honestly, it’s not something I personally would be interested in, but it is very cool to see. I’m more of a, couple of cows, pigs, chickens, etc on as much grass and pasture as possible but we need some of each to make the world go round.