The extravaganza that was Rebekah Ford’s wedding has come and gone. The day went off very well, we witnessed precision timing in terms of weather (the downpour coming the very next day), and not-so-precise timing from the bridal party, which is the bride’s prerogative after all. Having enjoyed our little experiment in accommodating, herding and feeding people, rather than cattle, we are quite glad to get back to the cows; who knew cleaning up after people could be more work than cleaning up after cows?
‘Project wedding’ has now ended, and normal farm life resumes. As with any business, our time is divided between the constant of the yearly routine, and one off-projects, where new elements are introduced, with the aim of upgrading and improving the farm. Probably this year’s most notable project was the wedding, but it’s interesting to note that just like any other project, the wedding came and went. We are reminded that a wedding is just for a day, but a marriage lasts a lifetime. In the same way a project is a short term venture, but the farm itself, with its yearly routine, is here for the long haul. Projects are necessary for upgrading and tweaking the business, but it is the everyday routine, the attention to detail, the consistency of care for the cows, that makes, or breaks, a farm.
We therefore refocus our attention on the cows and the work at hand, enjoying the tasks of the season. The cows are out, with plenty of grass, and we’re pleased to report that they are milking well, with each cow producing 2 litres above prediction. Our 40 point rotary really comes into its own at this time of year, as the cows are milked and back out to graze in a very short time. We have also begun serving for spring 2015, with around eight cows being served per day, and everything being put to angus semen. We check for bullers at regular intervals, and are serving both in the morning and afternoon. The field work is in constant motion at the moment too, as we currently have up to five tankers spreading slurry and cultivating.
Planning is as much a part of the yearly routine as the physical tasks, and indoors, work is in progress to prepare the budget for 2014-15. This includes the challenge of trying to predict where milk prices will be during the year. This year has begun well, from both a personal and business perspective, and we now have some fond memories to keep with us always, but it is only the present and the future that we have any control over. We therefore turn our gaze forward, and seek to make the times to come even better than those that came before.