Bill here filling in for Judi while she is keeping busy staying warm.

Do you remember the Jeff Foxworthy comedy sketch where he talks about his wife saying “I hate my Hair” “Well we are not going anywhere for a long time”.

That is how I feel this winter. Picture is stuff that should be in the “mud” room but because of the extended periods of cold weather it is in Judi’s kitchen.Displaying photo.JPG

Water jugs were being used to thaw out energy free waterer.  We gave up on that this last cold spell, covered it up with straw bales and waiting for warmer weather.

It is just down right bitter cold.  Thank you Jesus the kids are still at home to help/ do the chores around here.  They have been wonderful through all this.

We have even put off putting embryos in cows because we think the conception rate would be down in this brutal cold weather.

I went to junior college my first 2 years and that was the last 2 really bad winters we had in the late seventies, now Isabella is driving back and forth to the same school and it is just as bad if not worse.

Set another low record this morning, just breaking records left and right.

I am still waiting for Al Gore to show up with his global warming and help outside with the livestock chores.

Cows look like they are tired of it also.  Luckily we can put them all up in barns or sheds for the winter.Displaying photo.JPG

No mud for now, of course when it thaws we will have mud forever until this deep freeze is gone from the ground.

Well I am going to quit bitching for now.


Getting Through A Blizzard

We were returning from visiting the boys’ cousins. We left early to try and beat the snow storm. After finally reaching our exit off the interstate, we couldn’t get through the drifts on Route 10. So we turned around and headed back toward Lincoln. On the way, we came across this guy stuck in a drift in the middle of the road. The boys hopped out and pushed him out in their tennis shoes and sweatshirts.
car stuck in snow

car pushed out of snow

We checked in to the Holiday Inn Express. The boys wore their Carhartts and boots to walk to Steak n Shake for supper. The next morning we made it home after the roads were plowed but they were still drifting. The car thermometer said -11. And the wind was brutal.
After lunch we headed out with the truck to see if we could get to the new cattle barn. The road to the east that we usually take was drifted shut. So we drove around to see if the road was open to the west. After jumping some big drifts we made it.

cattle barn snow blizzard

We left the truck running on the road since no one would be driving by.

feeding cattle snow blizzard

Theo is feeding the heifers and Zadok is checking the waters. William threw straw down from the loft and fed the cat.

February Farm in Photos

Farm photo slide show of the major events.

Farm Photos January

Pictures on the farm during the month of January.

One Winter Farm Job

Keeping the cattle fed is one continuous job here at Graff Land & Livestock. This year it includes putting in silage.

silage bag

We use our small loader tractor to scoop the silage out of the 300 foot bag.

silage feeder

Then we fill up the feeders. This is a portable hay feeder that we modified to use for silage. There are no wind breaks up yet. So in the winter this can be a very chilly job.

small silage feeder

There are also smaller feeders around that we fill with the bucket or loadl the bed of our white truck then haul to feeders that are further away.


We fill the feeders every three days. We also put out large round bales of hay in case the ground is too muddy to put the silage in. So far that has not happened much. We haven’t had many rain days and the ground has been frozen most of the time.

cows eating silage

The cows prefer the silage over hay bales. Silage is the whole pant chopped up and bagged. Because of the drought there isn’t much corn in this. But they nose and dig to find each kernel.



Farm Kids & Child Labor

Every year we haul corn out of the grain bins in December or January to the elevator. The kids are always giddy about pushing their favorite shovel to move corn, as you will see in the video. Usually the weather is bitterly cold but emptying the last bin the beginning of this Jan. was unusually warm.

Here is the video from last year. You can see the difference in the kids’ sizes in just one year. They eat lots of beef.

Clean up on aisle 1

[youtube width=”560″ height=”344″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwwXTKoSWJo&hd=1[/youtube]

Bella and I are cleaning where the steers have been lying during the last blizzard. The kids put down straw and hay for them under the lean-to. That was last week. Now the lot the steers are in is a muddy mess. Once we get the bull sold at the Beef Expo this week they will be moved to their new lot. Hopefully the kids will have them “mostly” broke to lead by then.

Like the catchy music? Makes you think of sunny times.

An Old Farm Well

[youtube width=”640″ height=”385″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dJeFbkHTS4[/youtube]
After trying to prime the well pump for over an hour, we decided the foot valve in the well must be bad. We removed the well cover, replaced the pipe and valve (with the help of Ron), then put the cover back. The cattle were mostly patient with us while the well was down.

Hands Down

The most despised, most procrastinated job obookworkn the farm:

Bookwork. Farmers were not wired to sit inside at a desk for any length of time. Then add that they are to file receipts and balance accounts, they go mad. And they make everyone in the house including the dog cower in fear that they might get in the way. Because if they ain’t happy, ain’t nobody goin’ to be happy.

Sure the job wouldn’t be half as bad if the work was done incrementally throughout the year.  No, bookwork is reserved for the week, days, or hours before the records are due to the accountant. And thank God for him. I shudder to think… (won’t go there) I am happy to report that we survived another year of turning in our books, closing out last year’s books, and paying off last year’s operating note without any blood or bruises. Now we get to start it all over again.

More on the Frigid Farmer

What do farmers do in the winter?

Before I talked about farm shows and cleaning out bins. Another thing farmers do in winter is go to farm auctions. They go with the idea of picking up a bargain for something they need/like to have. Farm auctions are usually for some retired farmer selling out his life-long accumulation of stuff. Generally 4 rack wagons of junk: gas cans, rusted tools, ect. Then his old equipment and tractors. But this farm sale that we went to was extremely unique. The guy wasn’t retired. He just quit farming and rented out the ground. His tractors and equipment were disgustingly new. (no twinge of envy here) You don’t see auctions like this in a coons age.

You may remember my predictions for this year about a purchase of a tractor in our future. We were looking at a couple of tractors on the sale. But we did not end up going home with one. The prices went too high for what we were willing to pay. Our search continues. Below is a quick video of the sale. The last tractor shown is the one we bid on. The last bid on it was $151,000. Like I said. We’re still looking.

[youtube width=”540″ height=”385″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE6FnbQcr98[/youtube]

One more thing. Do you recall in my Carhartt review about what I said about the Carhartt conventions at farm sales? Oh, yeah.

In the comments, tell me if you would have bought that big green machine.