I want you to know that farming is continuing as usual at Ocheda Dairy. Normal for us, is, of course, always changing and adapting because that is what we have to do as farmers. Today is our first day sending our baby calves to a farm in Kansas that specializes in raising them. It isn’t easy to take this step, and I’ll be honest, it has me feeling a bit uneasy. Yet, it is a decision we have thought and thought and thought about, and we must move forward.
Otherwise, we just keep on. Milking. Feeding. Cleaning. All these things just continue to need to be done so we just keep doing them. So yes, we continue to care for our cows as we did before COVID-19. Fun fact: Did you know that as dairy farmers we are always vaccinating against coronavirus? So while we laughed a few weeks ago that we surely were safe, we know that it is “species-specific” and aren’t marking ourselves as safe.
Another fun fact that my friends all laugh at me for, is that farmers always watch the weather forecast. We simply refer to it as the “10-day”. If you are thinking that being quarantined to your home means lots of great time in the outdoors and that lots of fresh air is going to keep you from becoming sick, DON’T look at your weather app. Just don’t do it.
Sunshine cures so many things and I wish we had the 10-day forecast that Wuhan had a week ago (you bet I checked then) or that Italy has now. Our kids are in school today for the last day for at least 12 days. After today, we go into social distancing. I hope we aren’t too late to the quarantine game, and the forecast makes me concerned.
There is a ton of concern in our minds about needing our cheese plant to remain open. Milk is very perishable and so we have very little storage — not even enough for an entire day. We also still need feed, medicine, fuel, and a whole lot of other things. We have no history book to open, so we are just hopeful for the best.
I have a sister who is a family doc in Staples. She has autoimmune issues and I fear a heavy load for her. My mom had a heart attack 5 years ago and has less than perfect lungs. I guess if she gets it her chance of survival is 34%. I can’t even fathom this.
These are all the thoughts whirling in my mind. I am trying to find the positive and focus on those things. I will do a Facebook Live highlighting those soon. In the meantime, I am very thankful that I know my Savior lives and cares for me. I am leaning on my faith more than ever. When things get tough, that is what Christians do. So, really, we continue to milk cows and we continue to trust God.