Happy Halloween! This month Julia, who lives on another Organic Valley farm, sent a letter for me to share with you.
My name is Julia Krusenbaum. I'm 12 years old and live on an organic dairy farm in Southeastern Wisconsin, with my mom, Dad and two brothers, Tony (14) and Justin (10). We milk 115 cows, mostly Holsteins (the black and white spotted kind), but also Jerseys, Dutch Belts and Normandies. We also have pigs, chickens, horses, a donkey and a dog.
On our farm, one of our big goals is to do what is best for the animals. Our entire farm is in grass. We call it pasture and our cows graze on the pasture spring through fall. We graze the cows because it is the most natural and nutritious thing for them to eat. Grass is also free and feed costs money. We still have to feed the cows some hay and grain, just not as much, because they get most of their food and vitamins from the grass. When cows are on pasture it makes it easier for us, because they spread the manure themselves. In other words, we don't have to bring food to them and we don't have to move manure away from them! Pasture is even good for our cow's feet. They would rather be on mother earth's ground then on hard concrete. That can cause them leg and feet problems. We believe that cows are meant to be outside and grazing. They stay happier that way too.
But life on the farm is not all about cows! The other morning I was just sitting down to eat breakfast when our intern (a young person living with us to learn how to farm) walked into the house carrying a baby piglet!
"What!" I shouted, "Where did you get it?"
"What do you mean? One of the sows had babies," said Harold, (our intern).
I was excited and scared at the same time! Last time one of our piglets got squished when the mom pig rolled on it by accident! My mother nursed it back to life and the piglet changed from blue back to pink and was just fine. What a relief!This particular morning I ran out to the big barn to find six brand new piglets, all nursing mama pig's first milk. I stopped and just smiled at the most adorable creatures. They were alive, healthy and happy. At that moment that was all that mattered to me.
Life with animals on the farm means never a dull moment!
I hope you enjoy reading my future farm stories and adventures.
Your farm friend,
Farm Fact: Many people think of dairy cows being spotted black-and-white, but various breeds of cow are different colors and sizes. The cows on Julia's farm are light brown, black, all white, or spotted, and some are even tiger striped!