Thursday, March 05, 2015

Hanging On

I guess you've figured out that I'm not a fan of living on a dairy farm. It's hard, dirty work with little return. But farmers love their farms ... and the small family farm is becoming a thing of the past. That aspect of it breaks my heart. It just doesn't seem right that the big business of huge farms can force the little guy out.

The cost for Weldon to ship his milk to the processing plant went from $2500 a year to $7,000 a year, effectively putting him out of business. On January 31, 2015, Weldon sold all of his best milkers. I confess to getting teary-eyed as I saw the truck driving away with our cows. Right now, Weldon is still milking eight Holsteins. Whatever milk isn't fed to the calves or sold as pet feed to our customers is poured down the drain.
For the year 2014, Weldon once again had the cleanest milk in the state, receiving what will be his final Platinum Award. He'll continue to have the cleanest milk in the state, of course, and he'll hang on to the farming life as long as possible - planting corn, raising the 16 new calves, and doing what he loves to do. I think he's adjusting pretty well, but he asked another retired dairy farmer, "When will the pain go away?" The answer: "Never."

There was an interesting article in the Winston-Salem Journal this past week about another North Carolina dairy farmer trying to hang on. You can read Randy Lewis' story here.

"His life has a certain good and timeless rhythm - and that includes square dances...." At the end of the article, you'll find a link to "The Last Barn Dance," a documentary film that has been made about his farm and the dances. Hey! I think it's a pretty cool idea.

Life goes on. Most of the female cats are pregnant, the jonquils are pushing up through anything that stands in their way, and this Sunday we'll "spring forward." I just hope someone has reminded Mother Nature of the event.  


  1. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Awwww,so sentimental,and well said!Hang in there,you two!Love you!

  2. Anonymous6:47 PM

    I just now read this. My heart is sad for Weldon and you. Farm life requires such blood, sweat and tears to make a decent living and then it ends like this. Not fair, but we quickly learn life is not fair. I remember a saying from somewhere like this: "when God closes one door he opens another" One thing we can count on is that the Lord has Weldon in the palm of Hand and also his future. AZ of AZ

  3. To my "Anonymous" friends - Thank you, both. You are dear to my heart and your kind encouragement brings a smile.