The Farm Blog
Welcome to our family farm. This is where we love to be, working with cattle and hanging out with family & friends.
Watch for our upcoming activities and events at the farm.
I know, I know. I skipped right through Fall and Winter and here we are again, back at a new year and new beginnings. Just picture with me, a Nascar track, cars racing over 100mph, in what can seem like a never-ending circle. That basically sums up the fall & winter Holiday season around here. Also, throw into that mix that my husband & I found out we are expecting our first baby & we’re doing a full house remodel. Is that enough to excuse my absence of posting? We spend most of our time in the retail store during those months, well, us women folk anyways, there seem to be a few tree stands filled by our husbands 😊 The last quarter of the year for us as you can imagine, is filled with turkeys coming out of our ears and gift boxes piled so high we’re lucky to find our way out of the maze each night to make it home. Moral of the Story: We survived!
Calving season has officially begun, and we are all so excited about it. New life, new weather, new growth, there’s just something about it. We all make more and more trips out in the fields in hopes of getting to watch a birth and keeping an eye on the health of the Mommas & Calves. I am so blessed to have found a husband that loves the outdoors and farm life as much as me. We consider it a real date when we get to drive the ATVs across the fields and pick out our favorite newbies. However, It has been a personal struggle for me that I seem to juuuuuust miss out on all the births. I mean, I was born and raised on this farm and the only birth I have gotten to experience was at our 4-H fair at the birthing tent with my nieces. Seriously, how lame is that?! It’s getting ridiculous. The other day we happened upon a Momma licking her still wet, new calf. We probably missed it by a few minutes. Nothing can get me in a mood more than my husband and dad calling me throughout the day to tell me about all the births they’ve gotten to see or assist with. It’s become so fun for them to cause me distress. Obviously, I have a real complex with this issue. #FarmGirlProbs Thankfully, we are just at the beginning of the season. I am determined to get this goal accomplished this year, even if I have to pitch a tent and camp out in the pasture.
One of our first grouping of calves, we had a little abandoned calf. While we never want to see a mama refuse her calf, I do so love bottle feeding them and how cuddly and affectionate new calves are. Everyone got in on the job of feeding, even the youngest ones of the Yoder clan had Grandpa teach them how to bottle feed. After a couple of weeks, we had another mama cow lose her calf, so we penned her and ‘Little Buddy’ up together, and she has since claimed him as her own. A Great outcome for all! In a month or two I will be back to update you on how the rest of the season went and give you and overload of springtime on the farm photos! 😊 We just pray for healthy calves and good Mommas each day.
Now, Enjoy a few photos of our newest additions!Read More
We have been blessed with a healthy and successful calving season this year! Things can always get a little hairy and stressful in the thick of calving, trying to keep track of all the new calves each day and making sure they are progressing as normal. My husband and I recently moved from Ohio to join our family business, and he thoroughly enjoyed being called to help deliver calves and making nightly rounds to check for new calves. There’s something satisfying and relaxing about spending evenings just watching all the new calves frolicking and playing in the fields, and they grow so fast! They can’t stay cute and cuddly forever and with growth comes the next step in our cattle raising process.
It’s been awhile since Indiana was a wild and untamed place, but sometimes we like to pretend that we live in the days of cross country cattle drives and endless open spaces. A few weeks ago, we were able to share in some old traditions with friends and family at our annual roundup. In past years, our family did all the work of vaccinating all of the cows and calves ourselves, but more recently, since acquiring a larger herd of cattle, we have started inviting other cowboy friends and their families to come help out and enjoy an evening on the ranch. We started in the early afternoon, around 2:00, working a few of the cows, and as more help showed up, everyone saddled up and headed out to the fields to bring in all the mama’s and calves. As is the way with most things related to farming, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to have round-up that evening due to the constant rain that week. Thank goodness, the sun decided to peek through every now and then and it turned out to be a beautiful evening. Once the calves and cows were brought in our process went a little like this: The calves were separated from the mamas, each calf was roped, and the bull calves were castrated, and then each calf was vaccinated and ear tagged. It is so much fun to watch!
My niece, Kennedy, who just turned 5, was completely enthralled and after watching for a few minutes, piped up, “I hope they don’t rope me and drag me in there!” After I said that probably wouldn’t be very fun for her, she paused and then said, “Actually, I think that WOULD be kind of fun!” I don’t think her mother would have approved.
Probably the most entertaining part of the night is watching the men try to hold down the calves during the process. Let’s just say there were many moments of laughter, a few close calls of being kicked, and a whole lot of dirty jeans. With so many helping hands, the evening quickly flew by and before we knew it, it was chow time! As an appreciation for those who come out and help or those who simply come out to watch and enjoy, we had grilled Burgers and Hotdogs, as well as having, baked beans, potato salad, chips, and Texas Sheet Cake and Ice Cream. I always enjoy sitting around and listening to all of the stories being swapped between men who have been friends for years or getting to know others with similar lifestyle interests. This year was a little extra special as my father-in-law, from Ohio, was able to come and join us for the fun, and since he is a professional photographer, he also captured some great shots for us! Below we have a few favorites, but if you would like to see more, we will be posting them on our Facebook page as well.
We are now getting into the thick of our summer season, exchanging our saddles with tractor seats as planting and hay cuttings have come upon us. The work can seem never ending, but we chose this lifestyle because we love the work we do. We love the friendships and fellowship it brings about, and any day spent out in nature is a good day! On another note, along with growing calves, we seem to have grown a small army of kittens. What is it about farms that you just can’t keep them away? They are free for the taking, seriously, however many your heart desires. Come take them all. Thank you in advance.
Sunlight dancing across heavy dew laden fields. Sprigs of green dotting the hills and trees. Song birds a-singin’. All signs of new life and a new Spring season on the farm. Personally, Spring is probably my favorite season, even with all of the rain it brings, because…..it’s not SNOW! It’s so fun to watch the rushed and bitter cold winter days of chores change to lingering by the fences, watching the cattle a little longer, & enjoying the sunrises. Something is always stirring in the air during the spring as there is so much to get ready for. One big project we were able to complete this Spring, was laying concrete in our loading corrals and chutes. No more trying to load cattle in a foot of mud! This will create a quicker and easier process, for both the people and livestock. I would even venture to say the wives of a few certain farmers will be happy for this change as well, because maybe, just maybe there will be a few less mud splatters to stain stick come laundry day. 😊 I had the opportunity of rising early to catch the concrete pouring process. It was fascinating and I was surprised by how quickly R&M Concrete was able to get it done!
Along with new projects being completed, there is the newness of life in the Spring that comes in the form of 4 wobbly legs and soft sweet noses. So far our count is at 5 new calves, and all perfectly healthy! During the thick of calving season, we try to ride through the farm each day to keep an eye out for soon to be new or new calves. It’s important for us to vaccinate each calf when they’re born, so they can get a jump start on a healthy life. We also ear tag them with a number that corresponds with their Mama, so we always know who belongs to who. This also helps our year to year records in that we know which cows had bigger calves, healthy calves, easy births, and so forth. We always hope each calf is taken good care of by their mama, but if not, there are plenty of willing hands ready to bottle feed if necessary. Calving time has just begun, so be sure to check back in later this Spring to see how our calves are doing as we head into Summer!Read More
A few weeks ago we had our annual event of cutting the calves. Owner (Dad) Bob Yoder loves to do this a little differently. He invites all his horse-loving buddies and they saddle up for the evening. They use the horses to round up the cows and calves, separate them, cut the calves and send them back out to the pasture. We end the evening by feeding everyone and their families (around 50-70 people) and then going on a trail ride. It’s a fun time for everyone!