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Spring Speckles in the air

From the Farm

March 11, 2011
By Kerry Hoffman

Three things have happened this past week that have convinced me that little speckles of spring are in the air.

First off, with the warmer weather I have been diligently working away on several tasks that I have been assigned to finish as a member of the New Ulm Farm/City Hub Club. Having to work on these things reminds me that the Farm Show is coming up this weekend.

The Farm Show doesn't necessarily remind me of spring; it reminds me of one special day, about 20 years ago, during The Farm Show weekend.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

I was during that time, that my husband proposed to me. The actual date is immaterial. I have The Farm Show to remind me.

On that particular Saturday, I knew Steve had something up his T-shirt sleeve. You see, he called me earlier in the day and said he was taking the evening off from milking. Back then he never took a night off. I was lucky to get a phone call on a rainy day because there was always something to do.

I asked if he was serious or if he was just jibing me.

He denied any shenanigans and showed up on my front steps, ready to go out to eat at 6 p.m.

He came into my house, sat in my recliner and just kept smiling at me. (We were so in love.) I sat on his lap and chatted a bit and then he dug down deep for his rehearsed proposal and brought it forward.

Naturally, I said, "YES!"

The following day, as we were walking into the Farm Show, because the best day to attend was on Sunday, we bumped into Steve's mom and dad. We shared our wonderful news. Of course, they didn't believe us, even after I showed them my ring. Why? I don't know, but they thought we were kidding.

Just as a side note, Steve asked me all on his own. We hadn't discussed it much and I definitely didn't pick out my ring and that makes it all the more special and romantic.

So, Farm Show time means spring time and reminds me of my engagement to Steve. (This April, we'll be married 18 years.)

And another sign of the approaching warmth came over the phone Tuesday afternoon.

Steve called and he had a quiz for me.

"Listen to this and tell me if you can figure out where I am," he said.

All I could hear was this screechy, ear-grating noise. Seriously, I held my cell phone out at arm's length.

"I have no idea where you are, but that noise kills my ear drums," I said.

"I am at Running's and I am by the baby chicks!" (Ooh, the baby chicks are at The Farm Show too!)

Steve knows I love baby chicks, and every year I have to bring some home.

I asked Steve to put some in a box and bring them to me. I need new chickens this year.

"Well, they're not really chicks," Steve said. "They're baby turkeys."

(Why do you think he looked at the turkeys and thought of me?)

Go figure.

I also know spring's around the corner when the snow and manure that have accumulated over the blasted winter start to melt. Wednesday afternoon, it was so sloppy; I thought our cows looked like they were doing the doggie paddle in their outside lounging area.

Yes, they were standing in approximately eight inches of melted snow and poo.

I felt terrible for them. I decided then to clean out that particular area of their pen to make being outside a bit more pleasant for them. It wasn't an easy task; the mixture was like pea soup. Every time I pushed the skid loader bucket, the melted snoop (a combination of snow and poop) just moved along like a rogue wave.

No matter how hard I tried, I could only scoop up so much muck with the skid loader bucket. Plus, the area near where I was scraping was still frozen, making it hard to get a level scoop. I had to break up the frozen snoop before I could tackle the pea soup.

I am quite sure the cows appreciate having some space that is cleaned up a bit. Standing in snoop has to be miserable and cold.

So spring is in the air. These next few weeks are going to be good The Farm Show leads to my engagement, followed by my anniversary, then the purchase of baby chicks and cleaning up snoop.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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