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From the Farm

Fun preparing for Family Fun Night

June 10, 2011
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

I have been trying to for weeks to get something done around this farm

Next week we are hosting Family Farm Night with the New Ulm Farm City Hub Club and a few things need the fine touch of a woman to make them presentable.

It's not that there is a ton of work that has to be tackled; it's just a few little things that I would like to see taken care of at this time.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

I started painting some of the trim on the garage and the milk house Monday afternoon while standing in a natural blast furnace. It was so ungodly hot that my ordinary, perfectly-straight hair was just a few mere curls away from being an afro. I suppose it didn't help that I ran water over my head in the milk house sink.

A few times that day two of our three black-and-white dogs brushed up against the red paint. Now, as Russell would say, "They look like warriors."

I do have to finish the trim with a few more coats of red paint, but then I get to start using the white paint. Do you think the dogs will disappear against a white background then? I suppose not because they will have red strips all over themselves.

I also have to keep caught up with mowing the lawn. Last week both of our lawn mowers were out sick. I actually could have easily lost one of the Rat Terriers in the tall grass, but the red warrior-markings would've helped my find him.

One needed a new fuse and spark plugs and the other one only starts when we bounce around on the seat looking a little goofy. As a safety mechanism, there is a switch under the seat. If you don't weigh enough to keep that switch compressed, the lawnmower dies.

I would like to think that is the reason the lawn mower wouldn't start when I was sitting on it that I don't weigh enough. Ahh, if only that were the truth!

I also have to do a bit of weed whipping around our multiple buildings.

I don't know about anyone else, but this is an awful job on a sizzling summer day. You don't want to have to do this while wearing a pair of dark-blue denim Wranglers. You also don't want to do this while wearing a pair of tan Wrangler shorts either.

Flying grass and debris, while weed whipping, raises havoc on my scratched and bruised legs.

As I look out east-facing window, I see a wooden fence that I would like to remove. The cows have used it for a scratching post so often; it can no longer be classified as a fence.

I still have to repair the ceiling in the milk parlor that was dismantled to take care of a leak. The constant dripping made it feel like Minneopa Falls in our milking parlor. (Did you know Minneopa means "water falling twice" in the Dakota language? That's exactly what the water was doing in the parlor, falling once from the pipe and falling again from the ceiling!)

I am not complaining that I have to do these things on my own.

My husband, two children and a couple hired guys have been busy doing more major work around the farm. Russell and Ben Kuester have been hauling manure and compost out on to the field south of our farm. That field was made into hay last week.

Joey has been hauling manure as well and taking care of moving our calf housing.

Steve has been a bear lately. We haven't gotten all our fields of soybeans planted yet, and now the hydraulics on the tractor sprung a leak. I can hardly talk to him without him getting worked up. I don't know, but when I get stressed out, I take a day to run to town and get away from the farm.

When I offered him that same advice, he really didn't like it one bit and he let me know it. I thought it was the perfect opportunity for Steve to "get away."

I guess I was wrong.

I am going to keep my mouth quiet for the next few days. Hopefully Steve's anxiety will disappear. I am sure other farm women can relate to my position.

It's times as these that I wish we had only 300 acres of corn and soybeans to plant.

Personally, I am having a good time getting the farm ready for the picnic. I know it's going to look splendid and everyone is going to have a good time.

I also know that if I don't get all the work done, it will be truly representative of a working dairy farm, because there is just never enough time in one day.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at, or check out our facebook page at SKH Dairy Farm.



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