We went farming today. The three older girls and I helped Grandpa and uncle Greg tag calves. For some reason, I had to run for my life several times–out of the reach of a few pretty pissed off momma cows. Good adrenaline rush. The truth is, any of them could take any of us out any time they wanted–they just don’t. Even the really mad ones–they just scare the crap out of you, maybe nudge you a little bit, that’s all.
Hope was armed with the camera. Here is a sixpack of the 147 pictures she took (from the safe confines of the pickup truck cab).
One calf was having trouble getting it’s first meal, so we helped out. The girls love bottle feeding calves, but today was the first time they’ve been able to milk the cow. Just like their Grandpa used to do every morning before school. Loved it. And you can watch it. See if you can tell which of the girls is less farmer material…
From Stool and Bucket to Magic Machines
After we were done with the old-fashioned milking experiment, we stopped in to see how Duane was coming with getting the corn planter ready to roll. While the girls played in a soybean pile, Duane explained to me how a robot will plant the corn this year while he naps or munches on cheetos.
After the tractor company comes tomorrow to finish installing some new equipment, he will no longer have to steer the tractor while planting corn and soybeans. Just sit there and flip on autopilot. The tractor won’t just drive itself way more precisely than Duane ever could, the planter will even know exactly where it’s already planted, so when he hits the end rows it will stop dropping seed at exactly the right spot in each row. This, of course, is after another computer hooked up to a satellite already applied a unique concoction of fertilizing chemicals for every 50 square feet of the field, depending on the soil type, make-up and terrain.
It’s a new ball game indeed.