dairy

Finishing my summer internship

Today I finished my summer internship at the farm. Everything turned out really well and I'm glad I got to come here. I got to learn about training heifers and dairy farming. It was interesting for me to see what goes on in a dairy farm and to learn about the kind of work that is done. I was surprised to see that there weren't many people who signed up for the summer internship. Most of the people there were work-study. It is something that I think would awesome for other students to take.
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Working with the heifers for the last time.

Today was my last day working with the four heifers I stared working with at the beginning of the summer. It makes me sad that this will be the last time I will get to work with them. At the same time it makes me so happy to see how much progress they have made with me in the past month. When I started with them they were confused as to what I wanted them to do. They didn't want to walk on a halter with me. Now they handle everything very well and can work with people very well. Hopefully I will get to see them when school starts.
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Construction at the farm

The past couple of weeks there has been talk of getting the majority of the buildings at the farm redone. In the last few days we have had the people that will be doing the construction come in and check things out before they start. So we've been quite busy moving the cows and heifers around so they can come in and start. It's left us with a lot to do since most of the heifers don't want to go to a different building or to a different pasture. Most of the heifers will be out in the pasture so we've been trying to figure out where to put them all.
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Competition at the farm

On Thursday we held a competition up at the arena. We held it for the 4-H and other organizations like that. We let kids from these organizations so they can judge cows in a competition. During this they also get to be up close to the cows and learn about them. they get learn about the qualities that make cows worth a lot of money. We brought in heifers and cows from all different age groups. There were fours cows in each age group and everyone competing had to rank the cows or heifers one through four.
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New calves.

Within the last couple of days, three calves were born. Unfortunately, all the three of them were male. I say unfortunately because we don't keep bulls at the farm. Since we can't keep them here we have to put them somewhere. Unfortunately, for the calves, that somewhere is usually the slaughter house. The truck came by this morning while we were washing the cows to pick up the calves. I got to help load them up. The two older ones, who were only a few days old, got in the truck without any problems.
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Making progress with the heifers

When I first came here I started out working with four heifers that were all about 3 months old. Two of them are going to be used in show, the other two just needed to get used to the halter and walking with people. The first two we managed to catch were very good for being on a halter for the first time. The last two were quite difficult. One of them we couldn't even get out of the barn. Eventually, with lots of work, we have managed to make a lot of progress with them. The two heifers that will be used in show are now walking with us well and can stand properly like they would in show.
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Working with new cows

I made through a week at the farm and I finally get to start breaking heifers. We have started out with four heifers about a month old. They aren't used to being near people or halters. The last time they were on a halter they were de-horned. We started chasing these things around the pen until one of us managed to grab ahold of one and get a halter on it. Then we had to get another one since there were two of us. The first two were fairly easy to catch and they did well when we walked them outside. The next two were the troublemakers.
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Starting work at the farm

I recently came to Alfred to stay at the college farm and work. As soon as I walk in the door I'm meet to my new housemate. Not long after hearing all the noise I'm being loved up by multiple friendly cats, one of them being a little kitten named Molly. By the time I have finished unpacking everyone else has already gone off to work. Even though I just got there I quickly got bored and decided to walk down to barn. At this point they had already begun milking. I have never actually seen this kind of equipment for milking and I was unsure of what to do.
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