3 days of rain in the forecast PLUS kids having time off from school EQUALS an obvious “alignment of the stars” to head to World Dairy Expo 2013. Joe figured after spending 4 weeks, 16 hours a day looking through the windshield of his forage harvester to chop silage, that driving 6 hours to Madison, Wisconsin, looking through our Expedition’s windshield seemed like no big deal.
A really neat aspect of being a farmer is the community that comes with it. Yes, we are all competitors trying to grow and sell the same products, but we are mentors, teachers, supporters, and friends above all else. So, half the fun of going is just running into folks we haven’t seen in awhile. The other half of the fun for me is the dairy show, but for Joe it is the trade show.
As a college student, I competed in the judging contest back in 2001. Each year, the shavings are dyed because it is the ‘big stage’. This year it was purple; the year I judged it was green and, of course, way neater. The top 25 students representing colleges throughout the country earn All-American honors. 12 years ago, I was 31st….and I still recall that impossible-to-place Holstein heifer class. Anyhow, I think it is fantastic to sit in the stands, watch the classes and try to pick the winners. My husband on the other hand, loves the trade show.
Tons of machinery is parked outside, there is a main exhibit hall, and then smaller other buildings and tents. No way you could see it all in one day. You just pick and choose what interests you.
We also took the time to attend the Gopher Dairy Club reunion at the Coliseum Bar. I talked to a professor I hadn’t seen in probably 10 years and countless other friends. My dad has 4 brothers who also farm (or farmed) in Minnesota, so there were lots of Albrecht’s in attendance! Perhaps our Christmas get-together should just be there next year, as long as half the family is there anyway.
Now, it is back to business on the farm. Time to combine soybeans. The wonderful thing about combining beans vs. chopping silage is that is takes way less people, and Joe has to wait in the morning until the dew dries off. He comments that it seems very peaceful in the combining because he isn’t always radioing trucks about which field driveway to use and that sort of thing. I hope you are having a fantastic fall season! Stay safe.