Borrowing a bull to make babies


If a farmer wants to breed her cows, then at least one bull is required for “natural breeding.” We like our calves to be born in April and May when...

‘How many cows do you have?” is a seemingly straightforward question that I get all the time. But I seldom know the answer because cattle are hard...

Half the hay by Ground Hog Day


One day last week, the temperature was close to 60. It felt like spring. The grass seemed greener, and the smell of damp-not-frozen soil was in the...

Leading the bull with a carrot, sort of


The bull charged full speed toward me. I swung my arms and shouted, and just a few feet in front of me, he veered left and sailed over a 3-foot...

New year, new moo


The calf was due in December, sometime around Christmas Day. So we sequestered Puff in the holding pen and would check on her during the night...

Rationalizing a fast-food resolution


After parking the truck with the Miles Smith Farm logo on the door, I pulled my hood over my head and dashed for the entrance to the fast-food...

Food is one thing to all agree on


This holiday season, with impeachment proceedings looming like the elephant in the room, most of us have been trying to steer clear of politics for...

Hard decisions to make on a beef farm


Cattle farming is not for the faint-of-heart. Last week I had to decide which two Scottish Highlanders were going to be processed. The criterion is...

Winter’s war with frozen water


Frigid weather came early this year, in November. During the summer, I was in denial about winter but not because heating and electric bills...

Nature’s endless battle with fences


The stone walls that line the edges of our property were put here by Miles Smith in the 1850s and ’60s. Constructed with rocks extracted from the...

Do you know how milk is made?


‘What type of cow is that?” asked Jane, a visitor to the farm, pointing to Belle.When I told her Belle is a Milking Short Horn, Jane asked, “And...

It’s fall, which means it’s time to wean the calves. If we planned it right, calves were born in March and April – nine months after conception.We...

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