Dairy farming is not seasonal. As farmers, we are responsible for the land we farm, our equipment and barn maintenance, and most importantly, our herd of 550 LIVES.
Our dairy cows, young stock, and beef steers are our top priority, our co-workers, our livelihood, and our family.
There isn’t a day that they go un-cared for, un-fed, or un-loved. Barstow’s Longview Farm is in full operation every single day, even on weekends, on holidays, on Christmas and Thanksgiving Day.
Winter, spring, summer, and fall all offer their own tasks and challenges, but for the most part, our days are dictated by the health and comfort of our herd.
Let us take you through a day in the life on Barstow’s Longview Farm:
5:30am – Arrive at the farm (full of coffee and cereal)
5:35am – Do a complete walk through of each barn, check for calves born in the night, and push up the feed
6:00am – Feed the calves, check each robot milker for maintenance
6:30am – Mix the feed for the cows. Each group gets a ‘total mixed ration’ depending on their lactation. There are 3 milking groups, two dry cow groups, and the heifers.
7:10am – First load of feed, muck stalls
7:40am – Second load of feed, fetch cows for milking
8:10am – Third load of feed, fetch cows for milking
8:40am – Fourth load of feed, preventative care for animals
9:10am – Fifth load of feed, preventative care for animals
9:30am – Bring grain to the calf barn
10:00am – Morning chores are done!
10:35am – Time to start work on the next farm project. That might mean:
- Mending gates, alley scrapers, or stalls in the barn
- Cleaning out manure from barns to be composted or digested
- Fresh bedding stalls with sawdust
- Heading out to the fields to plant or harvest
- Herd check is every other Tuesday. Our veterinarians check each animal on the farm for health, pregnancies, and a regular check up.
- The farmers are the owners of Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery, we have a family meeting every other Tuesday.
12:30pm – Lunchtime!
Because our commute time is minutes, we head home for lunch and put our feet up. If we are working in the fields, Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery provides us with a hearty lunch on the tractor, lucky us!
1:30pm – Back to that morning project or on to the next one.
Every 12 hours the computer lets the farmers know which cows need to visit the milker. The cows are always able to visit the robot milkers, but sometimes they are too comfy or too shy to visit on their own. We make sure they have the space and coaxing they need to visit at least twice a day to keep their udder healthy and their bodies comfortable. Learn more about the Robot Milkers.
4:00pm – Check in at the store, pick up trash and compost.
4:30pm – Feed the calves.
5:00pm – Re-group, help whoever isn’t done.
5:45pm – Head home for the day…
…usually that is! In the summer time when crops are being brought in, it isn’t uncommon for the farmers to working in the fields past 10pm!
Through the night – One farmer is always on call in case there is a problem with the Robot Milkers or in the barns. Should this happen, the robot calls the farmer’s cell phone with an automated voice reply about what is wrong and where. Then that farmer goes to fix it no matter the time of night.
There is always the occasion that a cow is having a difficult birth at 8pm, one of our animals isn’t feeling well in the 1am, the cows get out at 11pm, or the robots go down at midnight. We will be there.
Farming isn’t a job you can leave at the office. It is a way of life.
Farming is in our blood. This is a time-honored way of life for us and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
A regularly stated mantra on the farm is “Same thing. Same time. Every Day.”
Consistency in feeding times, milking times, feed quality, and animal handling is key to a healthy, comfortable, and happy herd. The animals produce more and better quality milk when this is the case and we will spend less on veterinary bills.