let's talk farm animals

Christmas on the farm as an adult

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By Patricia Grotenhuis, Agricultural advocate and lifelong farmer

Growing up on a farm was the best preparation possible for marrying a farmer.  I knew that it meant Christmas celebrations, just like any celebrations, would start after the animals were taken care of. 

Now that we are adults and are forming our own traditions, we are doing our best to support local farmers and the local economy while getting ready for Christmas.  Our tree comes from a friend’s tree farm, where we can cut our own.  Turkey and cheese come from a nearby store which carries local products.  Other various items are picked up in a close radius as well. 

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Posted by FFC on December 23rd, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Farm life,winter
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Christmas on the farm as a child

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By Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate

Christmas morning. The kids wake up early, rush downstairs, see the presents and stockings that appeared through the night and promptly…walk right past, bundle up and head for the barn. Okay, we may have stopped for a quick peek in our stocking and to read Santa’s note, but that was it. To farm kids, waiting to open presents is a way of life.

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Posted by FFC on December 20th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Farm life,Weather,winter
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Farm kids are just a little different

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 Farm kids are just a little different

By Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate

Even though a farm kid looks the same as their non-farming classmates and friends, inside is a completely different story.
I have a nephew who lives in town.  He’s just a few months older than my son. My nephew does spend a fair amount of time on the farm, but not enough to completely erase the differences.  When the boys were younger, my nephew had started talking while my son had just a few words in his vocabulary.  If you asked them what a cow said, my nephew would dutifully say “mooo”.  My son had his own way of answering that question.  He would tip his head back, push his lips out, and make a “mmmmmm” sound.  It was very cute to watch him try to mimic the cows.

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Posted by FFC on December 13th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Consumers,Dairy cattle,Family vs factory farming,Farm life
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A little about biosecurity

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 by Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate

One day, I had someone with no farm background visiting me at the farm.  When my husband came home from the dairy barn, I made a comment about how he was going to shower before joining us. 

She asked if this was something he did every time he came in from the barn. On our dairy farm, that isn’t always necessary but many farms do require farmers to shower both before entering and before leaving the barn.  In these cases, showers are often built right into the barns. This is called biosecurity and farmers use biosecurity measures to protect their animals from outside germs and bacteria in a variety of ways. In many types of barns, a strict biosecurity protocol is required by the industry’s on farm food safety programs and audits are done to ensure that the rules are followed. 

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Posted by FFC on December 9th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Animal health,Food safety
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