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Who’s working who?

April 10, 2010

I grew up with The Farm Journal lying around.  And each month we couldn’t wait to see the latest Ada the Ayrshire cartoon.  If you have been around cattle, you know an Ada.  Very mischievous, and too smart for her own good.  One particular cartoon stands out in my mind.  It depicts Ada and her owner – he leaning on the fence for a break and her calmly chewing her cud, they both have a look of satisfaction on their faces.  The bubbles above their heads are different though… he sees a milk can with legs standing there, and she sees a feed bag 🙂  That is how I feel sometimes about our cows.   A symbiotic relationship that has spanned the ages.  To some it may seem as simple as we feed them, and then kill them.  To me it is much more complicated than that, a daily commitment we have made to embrace all that having livestock entails, and to enjoy the mostly ups and to weather some downs.


Here’s  what my day looks like.  My job is moving all the stuff around for the cows as they rotate.


Finally a hint of spring.


Ruminate  on this.  My own version of Ada the Ayrshire.  I work, and they get eat, sleep, and well, you know… .

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Bertie permalink
    April 10, 2010 1:42 pm

    My granparents had a book of Ada the Ayrshire cartoons. I think there might have been some stories in their as well. I always thought that they were really funny (and probably very much like the thought of cows as well). I loved those cartoons! I remember them being in some newpaper thing as well- maybe the farm and dairy?

    • April 10, 2010 6:46 pm

      Bertie, I think Ada was syndicated so probably every farm paper carried it – they are hilarious. We’ve got that book too – I think anyone wanting cows and think that they (the cows) don’t have a lot upstairs should read through it – most of the cartoons are all too true 🙂

  2. April 10, 2010 2:20 pm

    I love the jonquils in the pasture. My goats would never leave the flowers long enough to take a picture.

    • April 10, 2010 6:48 pm

      Teresa, ooh I never thought about that – I used to try to miss them with the drag, I hated flattening them since they are so pretty. Now I don’t drag the pastures anymore so no more guilt about ruining the flowers!

  3. April 10, 2010 3:58 pm

    She’s cute and looks mischevious!

    • April 10, 2010 6:51 pm

      She’s actually a he, but I named him Mabel ’cause he looks exactly like his mom 🙂 No wonder he is a pill, he has an identity crisis 🙂

  4. Marcia/WY permalink
    April 10, 2010 5:55 pm

    OH YES…can totally identify with the “mostly ups – sometimes downs” … great photos…so are they jonquils or daffodils – what is the difference?

  5. April 10, 2010 6:57 pm

    Marcia – I guess that is just life. Sometimes the downs are a little harder though when your office isn’t in a cubicle it is on the farm.

    Welll, according to our neighbors who breed daffodils, they are all narcissus, and daffodils have larger flowers with one flower per stem, and jonquils are small, usually fragrant, with multiple flowers per stem. They kind of look down on our old pasture King Alfreds – although I like them and since they have survived since the 1920’s (the last time bulbs were grown in the those fields) I think they deserve some reverence. 🙂

  6. April 11, 2010 3:17 am

    Oh, my, you nailed this one! We are valet service, cook and bottle washer, and they stare and agitate and moo if we are late with anything at all.

    • April 11, 2010 5:36 am

      TC, oh yeah and if the service isn’t up to snuff too! Vary the schedule a little and lookout 🙂

  7. Linda permalink
    April 13, 2010 5:36 am

    This is THE story that needs telling all the time! The farmer’s job is just not killing of an animal and then eating the meat. It’s the care and attention he gives his animals and the 24/7 care they require if he is to make a profit and continue to be a farmer. It’s the ‘very few bad apples in the barrel’ that get the attention of HSUS and others and cause all the trouble. Trouble that is now brewing in OHIO and other places. We do care and worry about the animals in our care whether is hot humid weather or snow and ice or just making sure they have water. Farmers must ban together on these issues. Grain farmers need animal producers to buy their grain so all farmers need to speak out.

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