High Grove Farm Journal – March 2023
Apr 04, 2023 (Westby, WI)
By Jessica Rogers
Muddy barn boots at the back door are a common sight on the farm this time of the year. Today the sun is shining and it’s over 50° outside! If you look closely, the green tips of grass are just starting to peek out of the ground. Spring is just beginning on the farm, and we are very ready for a change of seasons. It’s been a challenging month.
It seems like anything that could break this month, has! The other day, Drew had to come rescue me after my truck died on the side of the road. I had him put his heavy diesel mechanic degree to use. Thankfully he had it fixed by the next afternoon. That was on the last day of March for a fitting end to a month of similar breaks and disasters on the farm.
Drew has had to fix many things on the farm lately. It all started with the well going out. This can be a major problem on a dairy farm and something that needs to be fixed within hours because of all the animals you need to water, and the pipelines must be washed every 12 hours in between milkings. It was a very stressful week trying to figure it all out! It was especially frustrating because we put in a new well just two years ago when we moved here. It was a lot of work keeping animals watered and maintaining our sanity and patience waiting for parts to arrive. You know what I think it is? I think they don’t make things like they used too – including well pumps!
Unfortunately, there were some other things that went wrong this month and that’s why I say it was a hard month all together. Some of the cows’ digestive systems got thrown off by a change in feed. This took a week and a half for them to recover and we’re still trying to get them back to themselves completely. I don’t want to sound like I am complaining or only focusing on the bad things. It truly was just so many things that went wrong one right after another. I am thankful that everything is getting back to normal, and we could work through it all as a family. There’s always so many things to be thankful for even when there’s plenty going wrong!
The weather is still all over the place, which has made the usual muddy mess for this time of the year. Any dirt paths the tractor and skid steer travel daily to haul hay and bedding back and forth, or to haul out manure from the barn, are becoming deep with mud. It wouldn’t take too long to dry everything out. We just need several dry days in a row without rain or snow.
There were a few snowstorms this month and when it wasn’t snowing, it was raining. But there were a few sunny days in there and they sure felt good. They gave me the inspiration I needed to start spring cleaning in the house and around the farm. I’ve been painting and cleaning inside and cleaning outside around the barn, buildings and yard whenever I have the chance. There’s so much to do. Cows are not especially clean creatures of their own accord. The barn windows they walk past everyday testify to that! They needed a good cleaning now that the ice has melted off them.
I love spring and I am excited for warmer weather! Thanks for stopping by to read my monthly farm journal. I really enjoy sharing our farming life with you all.
-Jessica Rogers is a Westby Creamery farmer-owner who is sharing glimpses of farm life with us.
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