Here is a typical for me on the farm. 

Job 1: Make a pot of coffee. Very important for a farmer to start the day off right as I get up at 4:30 am. Pour a cup of coffee, (add cream of course) and I’m out the door and head to the barn.

Job 2: First stop: check hospital pen if cows are in there. Those sick cows get special attention so they can get better faster. If a cow is receiving medicine to feel better, I milk them separately so their milk does not intermingle with the other milk. I work with a vet if they need treatment.

Job 3: Make beds. Just like you (or your parents), I move all the cows to a holding pen from their normal large, open barn, and remove the dirty bedding and replace with the clean. Farmers use straw or shavings to make sure they are comfortable and clean. Cows must have a clean dry place to lay.

Job 4: Milking time! That takes about an hour to do on my farm but on a larger farm it can take more time. There are a lot of different ways to milk cows. After milking the parlour is cleaned and the wash cycle is started to clean the milking system. Cleanliness is key.

Job 5: Next is feeding and bedding all the calves milk and feeding all the young stock grain and hay. They are fed once a day. Young stock are cows that aren’t old enough to milk yet. Dry are cows that have milked before, but aren’t currently. The cows are fed a blend of different ingredients to provide them with a healthy diet.

Job 6: After feeding, any cows that need special attention are looked at again.

Job 7: Breakfast! Finally! Most people are just waking up and I’ve been up for hours already. Phew!

During the rest of the day, depending on the season, my family and I do things like seeding (planting crops), making hay or silage for the cows, or fixing equipment or buildings. Other days it can be meetings, errands, or family time. Cows are also checked throughout the day. In the afternoon, milking and chores start again at 4:30 PM, and I usually repeat Jobs 1-7.

After chores, it’s time for dinner and some time to relax. Before going to bed all the animals are checked one more time to make sure everyone is safe and content. Then off to bed. 

– Farmer Adam