Monday, May 26, 2008

Dancing in the Milk House

In a fit of total insanity I left the Real Estate business in 1998,Sold my 15 acres of paradise took all my equity, and with the help of a $60000.00 Commission check, went up to the Ozarks in Southern Mo right on the Arkansas line, and bought a Dairy Farm.

I had been raising cattle in Florida since the early eighties, and had amassed a herd of around one hundred ole Florida brush cows. And four registered Romognolas,and a couple bulls.

Romanogla’s are a breed from Italy known for their double muscle, temperature tolerance and gentleness. My thoughts were to use the purebred bulls to improve my calves to the point where I had a superior herd.

My wife Margie (an animal lover --especially the babies)was all enthused about the move and so with the help of a semi, and two gooseneck cattle trailers we made the move.

It didn’t take too long to discover that we weren’t in Florida anymore, land of year round green grass, as we started having to buy hay at $30.00 a round bale ,two a day. Cash flow constantly running one way is a problem, so since we had a really nice Dairy barn, We thought; why not put it to work and purchase some milk cows, and that will be the answer to all our problems. Out with one problem in with thirty more LOL.

We decided that we wanted Jerseys, because of their high butterfat milk and their sweet dispositions. After a farm sale auction where we bought eight head, I went to a large Jersey farm cattle auction in Arkansas and bought fifty two more. So we ended up with Sixty head of Jerseys and we were in the milking business.

I took a course at Texas A&M on Artificial Insemination of beef cattle and we were on our way. At one time my Wife had twenty three baby calves all on bottles in the calf barn, she loved that part. Our cattle loved Country music and we had the music playing in the milk house during milking every day.. While in Darby Fl. Every Month we had a dance at the fairgrounds and my wife and youngest daughter Holly became quite the line dancers. So wouldn’t you know it with the cattle swaying to Brooks and Dunn the milking machines making their own music and the vacuum pump roaring in the background, I looked up from putting the milkers on a cow and there she was Dancing in the milk house.

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