"Every morning and every evening, every day, the cows are milked. Cow milking 101 will tell you all about how it is done. Dad John and son Michael milk in the morning and John and Jan milk at night. If you remember the other day I told you that Jan, Sara, and Michael work off the farm too. With this milking schedule, everyone is able to do the farm chores, as well as their job off the farm!"
|Ready for the milking to begin|
|I got to help put on the milking machines!|
"After morning milking, it is time to do the feeding. Grandpa Roy uses a big machine called a feed mill that mixes corn and oats and other nutrients together. Besides this feed, the animals eat hay and drink lots of water. Did you know a cow drinks about a bathtub full of water each day?"
|Grandpa lifted me up to see the feed through the little window.|
|Dad John is feeding some of the heifers (that's what cows are called when they aren't old enough to milk.)|
"After the feeding is finished, it's time to clean up. Grandma Karen cleans the milking barn and John or Michael clean the animal pens. The manure (cow poop, in kid language) is removed everyday to keep every animal as clean and healthy as possible. The manure is loaded into a wagon (pulled by a tractor) called a manure spreader that spreads the manure on the fields. This helps the fields get back the important things called nutrients that help the crops grow. John said the crops will be planted again in the Spring and I can come back and learn about that too!"
|Mike and I used a skid steer loader to put the manure into the manure spreader.|
"Today I say good bye to Minnesota, but I am not heading back to California just yet. Jan has made arrangements for me to visit Susan and her family farm in Arkansas. Although I am sad to leave Minnesota and my new friends here, I am excited for my Arkansas adventure. And to Miss Sarah and her students- Jan sent you a package full of surprises for each of you, and there is something tiny and purple in the package too!"