Tuesday, August 14, 2012

End of an era

I mentioned in an earlier post that Grandpa and his two brothers, who have been farming together for... many years... were going to take the first step in retiring. They've been milking cows nearly all their lives, and they finally decided they've milked long enough. Today was their last day. The cows were sold weeks ago, and they were shipped out yesterday and today. Courtney and I went over to the dairy and watched as the last two semi-trucks were loaded. It was a momentous day, and I think there were a lot of mixed emotions. Sadness... gladness... and the whole gamut in between. And pride of a job well done. Giving up dairying is a major change! I doubt that it's completely sunk in yet that it's really over.

Here are some photos and videos of the process of shipping the cows out. Grandpa's in the first pic... anticipating the next truck. What do you think's going through his mind?


The truck was huge.


It was a beautiful day, and quite comfortable for both humans and traveling cows.


Courtney enjoyed watching it all, as did a couple of sisters-in-law, and even Grandpa's 90-year-old mother came out to watch "the end".


Waiting for the trucker to get everything ready:


Our son, Courtney's daddy. I wonder how he was feeling....


Grandpa again... waiting....


Here's some of the loading process (that's the trucker with the prod):

video

Sometimes they got to moving around in the trailer so much that it rocked back and forth!

video

These were the last ones. They didn't always cooperate....

video

This is the last load, pulling away.

video

The barn looked empty and forlorn.....


There they go, the last load down the driveway.....


A nose here.....


An eye there......


When it was all said and done, the employees joined us for a meal of pizza and chicken on their last day.


And this was Courtney's and my last view, as we drove out of the yard.


Sadness... gladness.... and the beginning of a new era.  There will still be the land to farm, and who knows.... maybe some new cows in the future?  The kind whose calves get to do the milking?  Many decisions ahead yet. Dairying is over, but not farming.

12 comments:

Grace & Doug said...

Today is the first day of the rest of your lives. Enjoy it and treasure every day together. Congratulations

Anonymous said...

Great pictures and videos of an emothional day. I had a very smilar expierence as a 16 year old (alot! smaller herd) and seeing the truck pull away brought back some vivid memories and emotions. I can honestly say 45 years later I have never had a desire to own a dairy farm but would love to own a farm. A Southern Minnesota native stuck in California. Mark

Jenny said...

Wow, that's really a big change! I hope your husband can enjoy his "retirement". And you, don't forget to grab some milk on your next trip to the supermarket!
Good luck at adapting to your new situation; enjoy more time together!

Alex said...

Thanks for posting all the great pics and video to document this moment!

The Luedtke Family said...

What a lovely "the end"! I hope the sadness resolves with pride of a job well done and the happiness lingers forever.

Enjoy the new era and all that it brings!

Congratulations!

Jessica Jones said...

Thanks for this post, Mum! The next best thing to being there. I particularly liked the nose and eye pictures.

Anonymous said...

Sadness, gladness, indeed. Thanks for capturing the momentous event.
Gwen

annie dee said...

I hardly know what to say - congrats or sorry for your loss. Wonderful documentary though. you'll never forget your successes. Keep looking forward and make some lovely new memories with something new!

Anonymous said...

I just want to say ditto to all the comments above.

Thank you for the documentation.

Dale

I am proud of my brothers.

Grandma G said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments! And Jenny, you're right on! It 'will' seem strange to have to (remember to) BUY milk! :) And it'll never taste the same.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for documenting this bittersweet milestone so well.
Ellen

Grandma G said...

You're very welcome, Ellen. I was glad I could use the blog to share the day with family members who couldn't be here.