Header Image map

Home My Story Fancy Things Country Life Great Americans Entertaining Media/PR Contact Me Image Map

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter "To Do List" on the Farm

"What exactly do farmers do in the winter time?" a friend recently asked.

Well, that's funny you ask, because I was just thinking about sharing the 
"Winter To Do List on the Farm".

When most people think of farmers, they usually think of the spring and the fall.
But there is a lot to do when they are planting or harvesting their crops.

Every season has it's own "to do list" and every farmer has their own "to do list".
Some farmers are more diversified than others (they have more than just crops).

For example, a lot of farmers have crops and livestock.  Some farmers have just livestock.
And in the winter, you have to check on your livestock just like every other season.

Even if they don't really like it and give you dirty looks. 

 They need to be fed, have water and a warm barn just like you and I need to be fed,
have fresh water and a warm home.

Farmers and livestock producers have to not only get out in the cold to put the hay or feed out for the animals, but they also have to check their water supply.

So, here we were checking the creek.  It is the main source of water for this herd of cattle.

When it freezes, it has to be chopped or water has to be given to the animals in another way.
On our farm, they would construct a heated water fountain for the cattle.

In the barns or the farm, just like in homes, they have to make sure pipes don't freeze as well.

Animals are not the only thing to care for on the "winter to do list". 
Here are a few others:

*Fix and prepare machinery 
*Review last year's financial and agronomic data
*Clean barns and shops
*Create a plan for next year's planting season 
*Buy seed for next year (happens throughout the year)
*Review financial planning and future growth or diversification
*Work on year-end financials
*Monitor markets
*Sell grain
*Haul grain
*Visit with landlords, partners, customers, consultants, 
equipment dealers, machinery dealers, etc. 
*Review insurance
*Attend meetings to learn about new production practices, 
new farm policies and new developments in the agriculture industry
*Review insurance and legal documents
*Catch up on a lot of farm magazines that got piled up in the fall!
*And random jobs you just didn't have time for while planting or harvesting.

And much, much more!  

Our farm includes a family owned seed company.  My husband and his brother are the fourth generation to run the company.  So on their "to do list" we can add customer calls, deliveries, processing and bagging the seed, meeting with folks that work in agronomy and genetics, and all the paperwork that comes along with it.

Basically, there is no real "off season" for farmers.  
Even though some farmers may not have as many things to do as others, 
there is still work to be done and still a long "winter to do list".  

Oh, I forgot, we also teach the next generation on our farm.  
Something that's always on the "to do list".

So now you know what farmers do in the winter.  
You are welcome to come and check the cattle with us if you want, 
but you have to wear a hat like little Ethan's if you do! 

No comments:

Post a Comment