Hi my name is Grace Beddingfield and i’m in 10th grade! I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work on a dairy this summer in Mills River, North Carolina called Small Acres Dairy. During this time I learned a lot of new and interesting tidbits about how farming works. I believe this experience has really helped me grow as a person. Some things that come with the job include getting dirty and most likely getting headbutted by a cow but every weekend I work comes a new story to tell. This is what my blog will be about. I will write about the most memorable story for a Saturday that I work. Some may be about little new babies who are large investments or some may be about how to care for sick babies. I hope everyone will follow me on this journey!
I am gonna give a little background of the farm. So for starters the dairy is located in Mills River, North Carolina on Jeffress Road. My boss and the owner is Mike Corn who has owned the farm for around 15 years. I have worked for the farm since June. The farm is home to 300 or more Jersey cows which are known for their milk. Most of the cows on the farm are from Biltmore Dairy. The Biltmore Dairy was owned by the Cecil’s who own the Biltmore House. The dairy stopped running at Biltmore and most cow were moved to Small Acres.
My job is to feed the calves. My work day starts around 8am or sometimes before. I go to the farm and I have a sort of routine I follow. I first check the calves in the lower barn. The lower barn holds calves from the ages a day to 2 months. After two months they are moved to upper calf barn which I check next. After making sure all those calves are well, I go and see if there are any new born babies or any bull calves. The bull calves stay in the pens by the newborns because they are sold within a few days of being born. Bulls don’t serve much of a purpose on a dairy farm. If there are any newborns, I have to give them a vaccine. The vaccine is given orally and as soon as they are born. They also get colostrum twice which is full of vitamins and important nutrients that the calf needs to help grow within the first 24 hours.
Most calves drink their milk from hangers which are built into the gates of their pens but they don’t learn that skill until they’re about 4 days old. Those who can’t drink from the hanger have to be hand fed. That has to be my favorite part of the whole job. I love being able to truly interact with the babies.
TC Roberson’s FFA had the opportunity this passed fair season to come to the “Moo-tarnity,” which is ran annually by my boss.The Moo-tarnity is where cows that are about to give birth are brought and displayed for people to see. The FFA groups come from all over county and help take care of the newborns and learn more about the dairy business.
Well I hope you all enjoyed this weeks blog! Please stay tuned for new blogs!