Making Hay
Week of February 27th, 2005 | The weather was rainy & muddy.

Doing chores; unloading feed.

Doing chores; unloading feed.

Hello! As the month goes by, Dad and I really appreciate having the skid loader around for the small light duty loader tasks. Nothing much happened around the farm except the regular chores. We received a lot of rain and most of the snow has melted. Our yard is very muddy.

Dad and I have been spending many hours planning out different jobs around the farm for the summer time. These include remodeling the hog floors, the cattle yard, putting a boar pen next to the gestation facility, and the lists goes on with smaller jobs, like putting mirrors inside the skid loader. This summer, for my FFA SAE (Future Farmers of America Supervised Agricultural Experience) Project, I plan on re-shingling the roof, replacing the trimming, and repainting the chicken house. I can't wait until this summer comes so we can get at the projects! I'm also thinking about looking for a part time job for the summer. It would give me a chance to work for others and get some great experience outside of the farm. This is the time of year when we plan and write down our goals for the farm.

This past week (Feb. 20-26) was National FFA Week. Being an active member in the local FFA Chapter, I have been on the committee the past month discussing what we would do to celebrate. We purchased a banner that reads "National FFA Week" that hung outside of our school. We also hung up posters and decorated the school's display case. We had dress up days for the whole school during the week. These included: Cowboy Day, Favorite Tractor Brand Day, Ag. Career Day, Farmer Day, and National Blue/Corn Gold Day (the official FFA colors). FFA members wore their official uniforms on that day, while other students were encouraged to wear the colors.

On Monday, a few members (including myself) went to the middle school to talk to the eighth grade students about FFA and encouraged them to join next year. Eight members drove tractors to school on Tuesday. I drove one from our local John Deere dealer. Thursday, a few members went to the Catholic School to talk to the eighth grade students about FFA and encouraged them to join, as well. Friday was the big day! We held a school assembly. All the FFA members were in official dress. For an hour, we had the high school students and staff entertained with tug-of-war, pedal tractor racing, wheelbarrow racing (two person—no real wheelbarrows), feed sack stacking (teams carried sacks from one end of the gym to the other and had to stack them), and lots more fun. It was also educational, too. We each shared some facts between the activities. We spent a lot of time and did a lot of work to celebrate National FFA Week. I am proud of how well things worked out.

Dad attended the Midwest Organic Conference this past Thursday-Saturday in La Crosse, WI. I did chores while he was gone. Next month, we will be getting equipment ready and purchasing seed for our barley planting.

Farm Fact: Planning different farm and construction jobs are importantto think about early in the year. This is a good time to be planning and calculatingcosts for projects this summer, as well as the work and other activities on thefarm. Proper and advance preparation can make jobs go easier. It is also importantto start your outdoor projects early enough in the year and not wait until thefall season. Sometimes we can experience an early frost and snow, which may interferewith completing farm projects. Goal setting can help you make correct decisionsand manage your farm better.

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