Friday, October 5, 2012

Fridays on the Farm: Colors

It's Friday!  In OCTOBER--is the year flying by for you all, too?
For some families, Fridays are a great day because it kicks off the weekend;
done with work, done with school, maybe a date night/family fun night.

On a dairy farm, every day is the same.
A dairy farm has the same basic chores every day of the year--
365 days, whether that be your anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas or the birth of a new baby,
the cows must be milked twice a day (some farms do three times a day, as we have done in the past, too.).

So, though Fridays hold no special significance on our farm,
Friday does begin with 'F' and so does the word 'farm',
hence my title Fridays on the Farm.

When you read the title of this particular post,
you may have assumed this would be a post about autumnal beauty.
While autumn in MN is colorful,
I wanted to show you some of the colors on our farm.

Farmers usually stand on one side or the other when it comes to the color of their tractors:
RED (International) or GREEN (John Deere).
Dennis drives a red tractor.  This has caused my green-loving father some consternation.
Dennis hasn't planted himself on one side or the other,
he just uses what he has or what has become available.
He has this red International, an orange Allis Chalmers, and a cream-colored Case.
We joke that we are teaching the children a tolerance for all colors. :)

I grew up on a black and white farm.  My dad had black and white holsteins.  He occasionally did have a red and white, but all in all, it was rather monochromatic. 
We know a farmer who has only red and white holsteins--and insists on keeping it that way.
He wants no variations. :)

On our farm here,
we have black and white holsteins, red and white holsteins, 

Brown Swiss (Nathaniel's favorite!)
and seriously--just about every combination thereof.
Dennis has put the boys in charge of heat detection (when cows are ready to be bred) and making sure our reproduction specialist gets called. 
Isaiah and Nathaniel make their recommendations to the technician as to what they'd like the animal bred to and Isaiah has a particular interest in cross-breeding.
We've got Ho-Jo's (Holstein-Jersey cross), Brown Swiss/Holstein/Guernsey crosses,
Swedish Red/Shorthorn/Holsteins, etc.
It makes for some interesting colors, but the real reason for this process is greater hardiness of the animal, improved calving ease, and, well ok--the colors are pretty fun, too.  :)

Now--just for fun, what colors are on your farm?
If you don't have a farm, what's your favorite color cow?


  1. No farm here. Favorite color cow is red/brown and white.

  2. We are a "green" farm here. :) I don't think it's really a matter of absolute die-hard allegiance to John Deere. I think it has more to do with the fact that that is what his dad and his grandpa had, and they have an established relationship with the dealership, etc. So basically, I think it boils down to "this is what we've always done and it works, so why change it". :)


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