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Passing the responsibilities on

From the Farm

January 27, 2012
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

We're trying something different here at home.

I am not complaining too much. I don't have to go out to milk the cows each and every morning anymore.

I have handed over my morning responsibilities to Joey and Russell. Joey is now in charge of supplies and has to make sure we don't run out of towels, dips and tons of other things. He also has to make sure all the equipment is running correctly.

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Kerry Hoffman

Russell hasn't been given any specific responsibilities yet. Sooner or later he will; he has already shown us that he is very responsible and does what we ask of him.

So that means I will be milking some afternoons and the weekends.

I do feel a bit awkward. Sitting in here at 5 a.m. typing my column and knowing that Russell, or Joey, is outside working. I just have to remind myself that it's the natural progression and sooner or later I won't have to milk cows at all anymore. Heck, both Steve and I are looking forward to being semi-retired from dairy farming in about nine years. Woo hoo!

I was a bit nervous having our boys getting up at 5 in the morning to milk cows. I was worried they would be too tired to stay awake in class.

When we first discussed this change with them, one of them said, "But we are going to turn into you and not want to go out at all anymore."

We had a good chuckle about that comment.

They were right; I don't care to go out during the week.

Both Joey and Russell have calmed my fears about sleeping during history or religion class.

"I felt good all day," Russell said. "I didn't even feel like putting my head down on the desk."

Joey told me it didn't bother him one bit and that he felt just fine on the day he had to get up early. I can't imagine Joey being the one to put his head down for a snooze. Russell, on the other hand, I have no problem picturing him with his head down.

I can only hope he doesn't snore.

During supper Wednesday evening, Russell also made a comment about how the quality of our milk has improved since I quit milking in the morning.

I had no response. Again, this was another concern when I left the parlor. Several years ago, when I returned to morning milking after losing my job, the quality of our milk improved. I like to think it was because I put the kibosh on several things that were changed while I was absent.

Heck, even Steve said the changes I made were for the better. I was concerned that employees, namely my husband and children, would start taking short cuts again.

So far so good, the quality of our milk has never been better and our cows are milking like crazy.

I will still have the chance to keep an eye on things when I milk on the weekends.

(Eww. I just observed Roger, the bearded dragon, consume a cockroach for breakfast, and for a brief second I felt sorry for the cockroach. Its head was down Roger's throat and its back legs were still kicking. I cannot imagine what that feels like.)

I guess I am just hoping that all the things I did in the mornings for the cows will continue to get done. I now recall how this morning Joey wiped manure off of Moose's head. That is reassuring in my book.

By the way, Moose is pregnant. She just had her 60-day check up and it's looking like we will have two little Mooses sometime in September, provided nothing happens to the calves. Yes, that's right, Moose is having twins.

(Roger's now stalking his dessert another cockroach. I can't watch. I have observed this in the past, but it's never been so up close and personal. Perhaps it's because Roger now shares my desk space with me. Oh, there's plenty of room. I use an antique table for my desk.)

I guess what I am going to have to do is continue to come into my office early in the morning and do some writing. While Roger eats his cockroach and bananas I could sip my cup of coffee.

I will have to convince myself that this new situation is going to be just fine. Joey, Russell and Steve will take care of the cows during the week and I will have to check on them on the weekends.

It's going to be good. It's taking us one step closer to semi-retirement.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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