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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Flat Aggie Visits the Family Farm in Kansas

I am very thankful for all the farming friends that so graciously agreed to host Flat Aggie this year.  I enjoyed this report from one of our fellow 4-H families. -KFM
Welcome to the Gaines Family Farm.  Our farm has been in our family for 5 generations!  That is a very long time.  We live in central Kansas and our weather seems to be very unpredictable.  It changes every day.  Just this week, it felt like summer one day and it SNOWED the next day.  Sometimes this makes farm life very challenging.  This weather is hard on plants and on animals too.

There are 5 people in our family. Our kids are Devon 14, Morgan 12, and Weston who is 9.  It takes all of us working together to make our farm work.  We have 80 cow/calf pairs and also raise crops, including wheat, milo, corn, oats and sunflowers.  

Flat Aggie came to visit at a very busy time of year on the farm.  We started the visit spreading fertilizer on the wheat. Fertilizer is food for your plants.  This helps make the wheat stronger and better quality.  We use a tractor and fertilizer spreader, but while we were driving the tractor we had a flat tire.  

Repairs and maintenance are really important on the farm.

Our animals needs attention and care every day while it is cold outside.  We have to take them bales of hay and make sure that they always have water to drink.  We also take them mineral tubs which is like giving the cows their vitamins every day.  When they can’t eat grass during the winter, it is important that they have the salt and minerals so that they continue to grow strong. 

Soon, it will be warm enough that the cows can go to pasture and we won’t have to feed them every day, but we still have to check them regularly.  We want to make sure that they are safe and healthy.

When we have new babies on the farm, they have to have shots and they also have a tag put in their ear.  This tells everyone who owns the calves.   

The mommy cows are very protective and don’t like anyone messing with their babies.  It is important that we take care of the calves quickly and then let the mom’s take over as soon as possible.   

Flat Aggie tried to help, but didn’t move fast enough and got stepped on by the baby calf.  You might need to ask Flat Aggie how his foot is doing.

4-H is a very big part of our lives as well.  Our kids show cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs.  Morgan also shows her dog and this year she got a horse as well. 

She wanted to take Flat Aggie for a ride on her horse, John John.  Flat Aggie got to ride bareback, which means he didn’t use a saddle. We also took Flat Aggie with us to a goat sale.  

As you can see, we are always very busy on the farm.  We hope that Flat Aggie had a good time while he was here and learned something new about life on the farm. See you next time!

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