Making Hay
Week of November 16th, 2003 | The weather was a lot of rain.

Mixing and unloading feed supplement.

Mixing and unloading feed supplement.

We had a busy week on the farm. Dad and I stayed active doing chores, working with the cattle herd, moving sow huts inside of the barns, and getting prepared for winter.

Saturday morning Dad gave me instructions to make up 4 tons of organic hog supplement. Livestock feeds have categories. Grains are the basic ingredients. Corn, barley, oats and wheat are called feed grains. Feed proteins are added to the grains to meet certain requirements for animal growth. We have many sources of feed proteins. Most of them come from processed soybeans, sunflowers, or flaxseed. Soybeans are one of the world's most useful and cheapest sources of protein.

Premix is a blend of vitamins and minerals formulated for certain livestock uses. Protein is a chemical compound that is an essential part of every cell. In order for living things to stay alive, they must have protein. Proteins repair damaged cells, build new tissues, and do many other jobs. Proteins contain the chemical elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. (Reference: World Book Encyclopedia, Copyright 1980 P, Volume 15)

A supplement is a mixture of premix and protein in proportion. I first mixed soybean oil meal, added sunflower meal, and than a sunflower by-product. The final ingredient was premix. I transferred the mixed supplement from the feed mill into an auger that filled the bulk bin. This reduces labor.

Also, Saturday, Dad and I separated the cowherd. We weaned 52 calves from the mother cows. The calves are now going to be fed hay and a grain diet. While the cowherd will be in one pasture during the winter and eating the hay that we made this past summer, the calves will be in a big pen near the barn. We will sell the calves in February.

Earlier this week, after school hours, I helped out with getting things ready for winter and some work in the shop. It gets dark so early that it is hard to do much after school. I had Parent-Teacher conferences this past week. I'm doing well with all my classes. I'm on the Honor Roll.

Last Sunday (November 9th) Mom and Dad went to our school musical. It was the last performance over the weekend. They really liked it. I enjoyed doing the lighting for the musical. After the musical, that evening, we had our County 4-H Award's Banquet. We had a big meal first, followed by the Awards Program. I sat at the table with the other County Council members. We got to eat first!! We helped with the awards presentations. Adults, as well as youth, are recognized for their efforts and hard work throughout the year in 4-H. I received awards in Woodworking and Crop Production for project areas. I also received the "Agriculture" award in the major award category.

Farm Fact: There are no organic minerals. When these ingredients are mined from the Earth and not produced with chemicals, they are approved to be used for organic purposes.

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