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From the Farm

Tito should be the diva, not Favre

August 28, 2009
By Kerry Hoffman

Working off the farm has taken me out of the loop when it comes to daily activities here at home. I miss out on all the excitement as it happens. Sure I get the low-down from Steve, Joey or Russell, but it's just not the same as being in the middle of all the animation.

This week, I have missed out on all the good stuff.

Once again, it has been a baby boom on our farm. At this time, there are nine calves all under the age of one week. Nine calves, I am not sure of the last time that has happened.

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Four of those calves were all born on the very same day! And those four calves were all bull calves. I am quite certain we have had four bull calves born in a row, but not so sure that having four bull calves all born on the same day has happened before. I do recall one day when six calves were born on one day. We had a set of triplets, one set of twins and a single calf all born one summer day.

We also have a new Jersey heifer calf that was born earlier this week. All of us were praying for a heifer calf. This heifer calf was born to Sunny, my Jersey cow. She's a bit of an odd ball, that's probably why we like each other so much.

The reason all of us wanted a heifer was Joey. He has had such bad luck with his heifer calves. As I mentioned in a previous column, he has lost two of them. We all felt bad; even Russell. Russell was almost to the point of giving Joey his Jersey cow April - now that's feeling bad.

When Sonny had her girl calf, I immediately sent Joey a text message, who was playing an 18-hole round of golf in New Ulm. In our world, a heifer calf is newsworthy enough to break into the televised PGA Championship. Breaking into the television program to listen to Brett Favre is totally ridiculous! I am not a real fan of having him play for the Vikings. I think he's a male diva! If you don't know what the word "schism" means, look it up. Apparently, Favre is doing that here in the Minnesota locker room. The Vikings are going to stink again this year. Not even going to get a wee-bit excited.

Time to get off my soap box.

Previously, I had told Joey, he would have to purchase the heifer calf from me.

Because I felt so bad, the very next text message let him know that he could just have her. He wouldn't have to purchase her. I think that was a relief for him. He is aware that a registered animal's calf is going to cost more than a grade calf.

The difference between a registered animal and a grade animal is the same concept as it is, for example, dogs.

If you purchase a dog that is a registered Great Dane, and it has all the papers you need to sell puppies down the road, you are going to pay more for that animal. She may be the dimmest bulb in the box, but that don't matter. She has her papers. (Did I put that on paper?)

It works the same for cows. If I sell a registered Jersey calf, with her papers, she is worth more than a Jersey calf with no papers -a grade animal.

Dogs without papers are just mutts. Cows without papers are grades.

The new heifer calf also has a name. It took a few days, but our employee John picked out a name this last Tuesday - Tito. She's as cute as a button; if I were standing next to her now, I would give her a big squeeze.

I don't know why "Tito" (tee-toe) was chosen, I am quite sure John isn't a history buff.

Our new calf is named after a Yugoslavian communist-party leader that lived to be almost 90-years-old. Tito lived from 1892-1980, and was the Prime Minister and President of his country.

Tell me Tito doesn't mean something totally different to a 17-year-old teenage boy! Doesn't the late Michael "Jacko" Jackson have a brother named Tito? Tito mosquito.

I should also mention, because I have neglected to mention it for several months, that we have two new employees working with us. Molly and Miranda Maas, from Sleepy Eye, were put on the payroll earlier this summer. Both of them have fit in to the system here on the farm and have gone through the usual initiation of learning farm work. Initiation usually involves running things over with the skid loader or something along those lines. I don't think either one has learned the lesson of remembering to close all the gates - yet. It's probably going to happen on a cold winter day!

Every person that works here on the farm has learned that lesson at least not once, maybe even twice or thrice.

I probably won't be around on that day, but you can bet you winter booties I will hear about it.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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