Yes folks, part of being a livestock farmer is spreading around some of that "fresh" country air. That is exactly what So, Bugs, and Squirrel did this weekend.
Part of being a good livestock farmer and care taker involves heavy duty cleaning. Each summer, we harvest wheat, not for the grain, but for the straw bales we make from the wheat chaff. We make small square bales and large round bales and store them through the summer and fall.
Then when winter starts to rare it's ugly head, we start bedding our barns with those straw bales. Straw not only keeps our cattle warm, but provides a good barrier from the barn floor. Squirrel and Bugs love tossing the straw flakes in the air and watching the baby calves run through the fresh straw.
But after several months of spreading straw, the layers get high enough that we can't close the gates and well, frankly, the barn starts to stink. As part of a good animal caretaker, each spring we tackle another familiar job - hauling manure. It's stinky job, but someone has to do it.
We spread the mixture over our fields - free fertilizer! But you don't want to stand down wind from the fresh streaks in our fields. It can stink but to me it's the smell of the country. I love it and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
When you buy the country, you buy the smells that go with it.
You buy the rooster that crows early in the morning.
You buy the tractor planting corn in the field that will eventually make it to your plate in one form or another.
You buy the beauty, the tranquility, and the slow paced way of life.
You buy what has produced the longest running profession in the United States - the American Farmer. Thank a farmer!