High Grove Farm Journal – Feb. 2022
Feb 28, 2022 (Westby, WI)
By Jessica Rogers
Welcome to another month in the life of a Westby Cooperative Creamery farmer. I am Jessica Rogers and every month my family and I give you a glimpse into our lives as dairy farmers on our farm near Soldiers Grove, Wis.
We woke up to several inches of fresh powdery snow and single digit temperatures this morning. The cold blue skies mixed with a sparkling coat of white snow was a picture-perfect February morning in Wisconsin. I was happy to see a not-so grey and gloomy scene.
Making it through January always feels like an accomplishment of some sort to me. In my memories, I award January as being the hardest month of dairy farming each year. Inevitably so, I start the month of February encouraged and even inspired – mostly for just making it through last month! But you would think I’d have learned my lesson by now. February proves me wrong every year. I start getting excited for winter nearing its end but winters in Wisconsin rises to its pinnacle of gloom and snowstorms in February. The cold long days on the farm drag on making them all feel very much identical. Unless of course something on the farm breaks…
The true monotony of farm life right now has given me a lack of inspiration, making writing this difficult. (And there’s hardly any sunrises worth photographing to help add some warmth to my journal entry for you!) That was until I came to the realization that my husband and I spent most of those cold gloomy mornings planning and researching for this year on our farm!
Thanks to those dreary mornings keeping us in the house longer after chores, we’ve been able to focus on some of our top priorities this year. Some things we’ve been able to accomplish are crop and pasture planning, young stock and dairy cow pasture locations for the grazing season, heifer breeding and updating their files, how we will run water and fencing to new pastures and figuring out some other projects we want to do.
So, we’ll just forget about the dozens of times the barn cleaner broke from the cold this month. Or the other morning when we walked in the barn and somehow the switch to the feed bin auger had flipped on in the night emptying the FULL load of cow feed onto the barn floor! (See photo.) Or the fact that my favorite barn cat is missing. I am sorry to be such a downer this month but looking back, we really did get a lot done and it wasn’t all so bad.
I look forward to reporting back to you all next month with hopefully some more sunshine and good news.
-Jessica Rogers is a Westby Creamery farmer-owner who is sharing glimpses of farm life with us.