Winter Chores

Today was cold.  Despite the fidget temperatures and working outside for most of the day I have managed to stay comfortably warm by wearing layers of clothes and of course taking a couple breaks to warm back up.

Weighing on my mind all day was the fact that the temperatures are supposed to get even colder tonight and the fact that I continued on my quest that started three days ago to do everything possible to ensure that our cattle are well prepared to weather the cold.  So I pressed forward making sure that the cattle had plenty of nutritious hay and bedding, making sure their waterers were working properly and that they had adequate shelter to keep them out of the wind.

Cattle Eating Clover Silage

Leading up to and on cold days the cows enjoy nutritious clover haylage that has plenty of nutrition to help keep their bodies functioning properly.

Just in time to do evening chores I began to feel comfortable that the cows were well prepared for the arctic temperatures tonight when I noticed one of the waters had frozen.  While in the process of taking off the insulated guards to inspect the problem it miraculously started to work again by spraying water all over me in full force while I scrambled to find the shut off valve.

To my amazement within seconds any water that was not in contact with my skin was frozen within seconds turning me into a giant ice block.  My success at staying warm all day suddenly took a turn for the worse. So with the water turned off and clothes as stiff as a board, I managed to gather up my tools and began to shuffle my way through the wind tunnel that has formed between the house and the barn.

Luckily I made it back to the house before any extremities turned blue.  Once inside the house I sat patiently waiting for the zipper on my coat to thaw while

Frozen Hay Bales

Frozen Hay Bales

biting my tongue in a manly fashion as  the feeling in  my fingers began to come back.  It was at this point I realized that maybe all those warnings that the weatherman has been issuing for the past few days many have had more merit than I previously thought.

Now, that I have warmed back up I have fixed the waterer and am back inside sitting comfortably drinking a cup of coffee waiting for the dryer to finish drying my clothes so I can head back out to finish chores and separate two heifers that look like they may calve tonight.

Well, the dryer just beeped, time to get dressed!

Its cold out there, if you need to go outside tonight plan ahead and stay dry.


Related Posts:

The Frozen Water Saga – Cow Spots and Tales

Baby, its Cold Outside –  Carolyn Cares

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Pictures from around the farm…

The weather has made for an exciting July on the farm.  After 16 days of rain we were finally able to enjoy a full day of sunshine today, a sure cause for celebration!!!  We were able to get a half day of harvesting wheat earlier this week, but the excess rain has delayed us from finishing harvest at this point and we are forced to watch the quality degrade until the weather cooperates.

With a little sunshine the flood waters will soon recede and we will be able to resume field activities.  This is much needed as the wheat is ready to be harvested, weeds are taking over the bean fields, 2nd cutting hay is ready to be cut and straw to be baled.

My Aunt Beth is in town this month and has been taking pictures like crazy, I convinced her to send a few over to share them on the blog, enjoy!

The 4th on the farm.

The 4th on the farm.

We counted 10 deer in the field!

Deer, deer, how many deer can you find? Scroll over the image to find out how many deer are in the wheat field

Storm damage - July 10So much rain on July 10th that it washed out the culvert and gate. Good thing we found the damage before the cows did.
The first corn planted on Haley Farms tasseled yesterday.

The first corn planted on Haley Farms tasseled yesterday. July 10th

Vehicles driving through water

Don't drive through high water! Unfortunately there was no way around it!

Curious steers weathered the storm just fine.

Curious steers weathered the storm just fine.

Corn damage with the severe weather.

Corn damage with the severe weather.

Wheat field

Quality of the wheat is starting to degrade. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for the harvest soon.

Flooded bean field

Any low areas in the fields are flooded. This field of soybeans has turned into an excellent playground for carp to swim!



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Blocking ‘ag gag’ laws may prolong abuse

Growing up on a farm, one of my biggest responsibilities was tending to the animals in our family’s care. At times livestock can be unpredictable in ways that are both amusing and frustrating, but much like a parent cares for thUeir child I cannot think of a moment that my top priority was not in the best interest of our animals and our land.

That is not saying that our livestock always respond in a positive manner to our practices. They are not capable of understanding how regular occurrences on the farm like vaccinations are for their benefit. I often wonder how others would respond if video’s and pictures were shared out of context while I was caring for our animals. I am not alone; several other farmers and ranchers across the country have had fears of “undercover” videos that only share part of the story, often out of context, from their farm.


Animals can do silly things at times

This fear has led to proposed legislation in several states that make it illegal for video to be filmed on farms without the knowledge of the owner. In several ways this makes total sense as a farm is private property, placing undercover video in a farmer’s barn without permission is not much different than placing a hidden camera in the privacy of somebody’s home without their knowledge. However, I am not a fan of these types of laws. They reduce transparency and make others question some very good practices that farmers utilize today to care for their livestock.

Today on The Ellen Show CEO of The Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) Wayne Pacelle discussed these proposed bills calling them “Ag Gag bills.” He compared them to the recent bombings in Boston, stating that if it were not for citizens rights to film video during the marathon police may still be looking for those responsible. While this is true, it is also true that if anyone had evidence that the bombings were being planned and didn’t report it they can be charged an accomplice.

Read more on Eatocracy

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Visit us at the 2013 Ohio Beef Expo

The Ohio Beef Expo is quickly approching, and we hope that you take the time to look us up on March 15th-17th 2011! If you are planning on attending be sure to check out the Eastern Spring Classic Simmental Sale on Saturday March 16th as we have 3 exciting lots consigned to the sale (listed below). If you are unable to attend the sale dont worry as you can still watch and bid online through Live Auctions!  Contact Mike or Pam for any question concerning anything that we have to offer at the sale. 

2013 Ohio Beef Expo Simmental Sale

2013 Ohio Beef Expo Simmental Sale

2013 Ohio Beef Expo Simmental Sale

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Fall Roundup – Pictures


Simmental Cows

Cows stopping at the watering hole.


Heifer's enjoying the sunshine.

Heifer's enjoying the sunshine.

Grazing the cover crop of clover, time to switch the cows to the other side of the temporary fence!

Grazing the cover crop of clover, time to switch the cows to the other side of the temporary fence!

Chopping Haylage

A neighboring dairy farmer purchased some of the hay out of our field and chopped it for haylage.

Alfalfa Hay

Baling the last field of hay for the year.

Harvesting Soybeans

Harvesting Soybeans


Moms garden

Moms garden is ready for winter.

Tractor Hospital

Lots of work lined up in the shop already for the winter.

Thanksgiving Pie

Our family makes sure there is plenty of Pie for Thanksgiving, I think the official count was 38 this year



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Farm week in pictures 5-10-12


The last spring calf was born on our farm this week.  Sorry I couldn’t get a better picture, he is a moover!


Got a good start spraying weeds that have invaded my soybeans.


We finished sidedressing (fertilizing) corn last week, after a rough start its finally starting to take off and look good!



The mums are here! Pam spent most of the week potting them, they are looking good.


We have been real busy making hay lately, this field is all raked up in windrows and ready to bale.


This fields all baled, not sure if you can see the hawk perching on the round bale waiting for his dinner to wander by.


Never a dull moment on a farm, had a slight delay in hay making to did a tire.


The hay barn us starting to fill up, this will make for happy cows through the winter months.


Alfalfa hay ready to be square baled.


Square baling alfalfa, I will come by later and pick these bales up with a stackwagon, called a harobed.


We had two balers running, instead of using a harowbed to pick up and stack bales we need to manhandle each bale with this baler.


We had a small rain shower thus week, enough to give us a really nice reminder.

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The Ultimate Sacrifice

This post is about a man from our little town whom I have never met, yet he has sacrificed everything for me and you. First Lieutenant John Runkle was fighting for our freedom in Afghanistan just a little over a year ago when when his unit was struck by an improvised explosive device on May 26th 2011. Sometimes its easy to forget that our freedom’s come at a cost, the cost of brave Americans who gave their lives protecting the freedoms we enjoy. So lets set aside this day to remember and honor those who gave their lives for everything we hold dear.

 1st Lieutenant John Runkle

In Memory of First Lieutenant John Runkle

The Ultimate Sacrifice:
A Memorial Day Poem

We set aside Memorial Day
Each and every year
To honor those who gave their lives
Defending what we hold dear.

In all the dark and deadly wars,
Their graves prove and remind us,
Our brave Americans gave their all
To put danger far behind us.

They made the ultimate sacrifice
Fighting for the American way;
We admire them and respect them
On every Memorial Day.

By Joanna Fuchs

Related Post:

A Thank You To our Military – Haley Farms

Wayne County soldier remembered

1st Lt John M. Runkle – Freedom Remembered

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Farm Spring in pictures.

Well its been awhile since I have posted much about the farm, so a quick update! All the corn is planted and growing. Soybeans are all in the ground, some a second time and after this most recent downpour we may have to replant some again ;( Hay season is in full swing as we are already half finished with the first cutting!

I am getting back in the mood of taking more pictures, take a look!


Fertilizing wheat


pounding fence post's


Some of the new fence we built this spring.


Installing drainage tile to improve growing conditions for our crops.


Lots of little ones around here!


More calves!


Strip tilling, we are applying fertilizer here and will plant corn directly in the rows.


Strip's to plant corn into a cover crop


Baby corn!


Bred Heifers enjoying spring pasture.


Baby soybeans!


baby soybeans struggling to grow :(


Filling the bean planter with seed.


planting soybeans! This is basically a big sweeper that uses air to move the seeds from the storage hopper and places them evenly in the ground.


planting in the dark


This soybean field is looking good!


Corn will be knee high by the 4th of July.


Mowing hay.


Raking hay.


round bales of hay waiting to get picked up.


I'm hiding, you can't see me!


Plenty of deer around the farm!


Deer enjoying some clover.

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I am Just a Farmer: My latest on the Just Farmers blog

The term “just a farmer” can mean a lot of things.

For several in agriculture it’s a negative connotation as it implies that farmers are “just” and nothing more. It’s obvious to those well connected to agriculture that this is not true as even the simplest of farmers are far more than “just,” and their responsibilities reach far past farming in their day to day interactions.

While this website is run by three farmers, the term Just Farmers has nothing at all to do with agriculture, instead it is about growing and cultivation relationships. In a sense we are farming conversations that in most cases have nothing at all to do with agriculture.

Personally for me it has a completely different meaning, one that I hold dear in my memories. Two of the old time farmers I learned the most from as grew up, my grandfather Don Haley and his good friend Richard Zimmerman, both had a poem read at their funeral titled “I’m Just A Farmer, Plain and Simple” by Bobby Collier. They both lived a long life of ninety years and saw several changes in agriculture throughout their life but in all they both were farmers through and through and that is how they will always be remembered in my heart.

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Weed Management, my latest column

Having grown up on a farm, there are several things about farming I just seem to know, some I have learned along the way and many more I am still learning as I go.

One of the learning moments I still remember from my younger years was that shortly after my local cooperative sprayed a field of soybeans, the beans turned brown, and I thought they were surely dead.

When I had a chance to ask my father what had happened, he laughed and informed me that the entire field was becoming overgrown with weeds; the spray would kill the unwanted weeds and only set the soybeans back a couple of days.

As I grew older, I came to understand that controlling weeds in soybeans is not an easy task and is even almost impossible for some weed species.

That was until the mid-’90s, when Roundup Ready soybeans entered the market. Roundup Ready soybeans worked well because Roundup is a very safe chemical to handle. It’s very stable and breaks down quickly, reducing the chances for off-site contamination, and it’s a very broad-spectrum herbicide that takes care of even the hardest-to-control weeds. Most important, it is a simple system to use and implement on the farm.

Everything has its drawbacks, though. For Roundup Ready soybeans, the biggest challenge was their success. Because Roundup worked so well and was so simple to use, it became an easy way to control weeds in soybean crops — in many cases, the only way.
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