……..yes, we have many, many calves due to be born in the coming months BUT, I happen to be referring to HUMAN baby time! It’s true, my husband and I are expecting our first child, a little girl, sometime in the next 2 -4 weeks!
Pregnancy has slowed me down quite a bit – hence my disappearence from this blog! Thought I’d take a few minutes to update before life gets REALLY crazy once baby arrives.
Things are going great at the farm. We’ve got 35 acres of our corn planted (about half done) and we just mowed our first cutting of hay. Beef calving season is pretty much over, but most of our dairy calves are due to be born in July, August, and September this year. The guys are keeping super busy caring for all our dairy cows – we’ve been milking a record number of at least 70…..though we’ve started drying off a number of them in the past month as they prepare for the birth of their calves (they get the last two months of their pregnancy off …….pre-maternity leave of sorts.) 🙂
We are hosting Country Pumpkins at our farm again this fall! We’ve been in the planning stages since January and are getting really excited about all the fun times ahead. We were blessed with a wonderful 2012 season and hope to continue to build on that growth. Can’t make any formal announcements YET, but we’ve got several FREE Special Events in the works that will be scattered throughout our September 13 – November 3rd season. I’ve been working on updating our brochures, flyers, and website to get a head start before the baby comes.
If someone would have told me two and a half years ago when I started the Alpine Hills Dairy Farm Facebook page that it would one day have been mentioned on the radio, the DFA Leader Magazine, and now the Progressive Dairyman magazine I would have laughed my head off! Really??? When I got the idea to start the page, I knew very, very little about dairy farming. My husband and I had been married just a few months (we were not working at the farm at the time) and with all our visits to the farm I thought it would be a fun place to share pictures and updates. I felt that it would really be something that people who didn’t live on farms would enjoy reading and learning about. That seems like it has turned out to be true!
As time has gone on, and we starting working at the farm full-time (celebrated our 2nd anniversary working here last week!) I have been able to learn more first hand about dairy farm life and have been here to take more pictures to share. I have absolutely LOVED having the opportunity to manage the Facebook page! Thank you to all our loyal fans who continue to give me such great feedback and encouragement. 🙂
Below is the link to the article recently published online and in print in the Progressive Dairyman magazine. Special thanks to Emily Caldwell for taking all my jumbled thoughts (I get super excited talking about social media! Ha!) and putting them into one cohesive article. She did such a fabulous job and it was a great opportunity to get to meet her! Click the picture below for the link to the entire article or click here.
Our Dairy Farmers of America Member of Distinction experience has been almost a year in the making already! Last week, our story written by Kara Petrovic of DFA, was published in a special Member of Distinction issue of the DFA Leader Magazine! We are so honored to have our story alongside some of the most successful and innovative dairy farms in the country.
Last month at the Dairy Farmers of America Annual Meeting in Kansas City, MO my husband and I by chance (or more like Providence 🙂 ) met a wonderful couple who have changed our farm tour business forever. Upon meeting this couple we found out that they operate a pumpkin patch and tours on their farm in Conway, MO called Gunter Farms Pumpkin Patch. I, of course, piped right up and started peppering them with questions and exchanging ideas about our dairy tour / pumpkin farm businesses.
What an amazingly sweet couple they were! They stood and talked to us for almost two hours about the in’s and out’s of their pumpkin patch operation. One thing that we were especially excited about was the Barrel Train rides that they offer – we had seen these in action before and thought they were SOOOO COOL! They told us that their son designed and built these for their farm. My husband got the son’s number and called him right away. Fast forward a month, and woah-la………we are now proud owners of 12 super fun barrel train cars!!!!
On Wednesday, we were able to surprise our first Spring Dairy Tour group of the season (140 kindergarteners) with our brand spankin’ new barrel trains! What a hit they were! We are so excited to be able to share them this fall as well during Country Pumpkins with our guests where we will be offering Barrel Train rides (for kids) along with hayrides for the whole family. It’s an exciting year ahead!
Yay! Today I’m excited to share a photo of the latest project I have completed that we will be debuting during our Spring Dairy Tours this year! Our first dairy tour this spring will be a group of approximately 225 people from a local school that is coming out later this month. We’ve been preparing for all the fun for several months already.
I enjoyed painting this wooden hopscotch set for the kids to play on during Spring Dairy Tours and Country Pumpkins this fall. It was a little more basic and not quite as detailed as the last painting projects that I did! Each rectangle measures 16 x 24 inches (except for the arch piece at the end), and was primed and then painted with two coats of exterior paint. We are looking forward to this being a colorful and fun addition to our agritourism business for years to come! Hopefully in a few weeks, I’ll be able share photos of the kids playing on it. 🙂
I apologize for my lack of posts lately, my life has been SO crazy! More on that in days to come. 🙂
A couple of weeks ago I made an announcement on our Facebook page that an article that Dairy Farmers of America had interviewed me for last summer was finally going to be published. I had several friends ask to see this article which was published in the March edition of the DFA Newsletter…….so here it is! Thanks for your interest in reading it – it means a lot!
Also, some more surprises are coming down the pike. Last week I was asked to help contribute to a Borden Cheese Friends of Elsie blog. What a fun experience! I expect that blog will be published sometime this month and I will be sure to share the link once it is available.
In addition, I believe our DFA Member of Distinction story will be coming out in a special edition of the DFA Leader magazine this month as well. Many exciting things going on here at our farm!