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Sharing our farm with others

From the Farm

January 14, 2011
By Kerry Hoffman

Wow, tours are going to be the death of me.

Not because I don't like giving them, in fact I love giving tours. In my previous life, I think I was a tour guide!

The reason giving visitors a look-see of our farm is going to cause me to fall over into my grave is because of my late-morning breakfast sitting to the left of me, on my desk.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

My favorite Christmas-themed coffee mug is chock full of eggnog, sans brandy or whatever kind of alcohol is put in to give the treat a little kick. Maybe the brandy's purpose is to make a person not give a hoot about the unhealthiness of the drink.

According to the packaging, a half cup of eggnog has a mere 190 calories.

What? Who in their right mind drinks only a half cup? Even with brandy, I would drink more than that! And even if I did only drink a half cup, I would always take a second cup.

Sitting next to my delicious eggnog, is a homemade, decorated Christmas cookie. Oh, these are not any old Christmas cookie; they're decorated with Halloween colors.

I made these. My quirky personality came out. I have plenty of Christmas-colored sugar decorations, but I really like the orange and yellow.

My cookies are a specialty. There is plenty of cookie; plenty of frosting and plenty of sugar decorations.

To make matters worse, it's like the fourth cookie I have had since earlier this morning, and it's only 11:30 in the morning.

I won't even talk about the peanut clusters and coffee I quickly consumed before the tour even arrived at our house.

The thought of not having anything more to eat today makes me sad. So sad, that I think I am going to throw that whole idea out the window.

Anyway, the reason I enjoy giving tours, is I love sharing information with others, and actually being around people. It can get kind of lonely out here on the farm when it's just Steve and me. I am an outgoing person, and I need to interact with others.

Tuesday morning the Network New Ulm youth came to tour our farm.

All I hope for is to reach one person; find that one person that seems to be actually interested in the information I am sharing.

I noticed a few students were following what I was articulating. They did answer my questions, just the way I wanted, when I asked which cows were cuter, the brown Jerseys or the black and white Holsteins. Of course, it's the Jerseys.

I am sure the most memorable thing out here will be our rat terriers.

Digger and Eddie have the ability to grab the attention of visitors and keep it without any problems.

If I remember correctly, when the Bridging Brown County group toured our facilities last year, the dogs also stole the show that time as well. But then again, the participants were teasing the dogs while we were in the milking parlor.

For this tour, I decided to change things up a bit. I thought, "How cool would it be to bring an actual cow into the milking parlor? I think I am going to do that."

Picking out which cow I was going to allow to stand in the parlor was vital. She had to be tame and allow people to walk around near hear, tolerate strange noises and not cop an attitude. I also wanted a cow that would stand in one spot and not move around, while she was left unsupervised in the parlor and when we were standing in there.

The perfect choice quickly popped into my head. I knew, without a doubt, it had to be Pinky, our most beloved Jersey.

Pinky was an angel. She was left unsupervised for several minutes, and not once did she try to escape. She literally stood until the last tour group passed through the parlor. We even listened to her chewing her cud.

So, in the end, my poor breakfast diet was well worth it. I did get to eat those delicious Christmas cookies, and later some fruit and another Christmas cookie (The eggnog was gone.) and I was able to share my enjoyment of living and working on a dairy farm.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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