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Milking Parlor

Posted 12/15/2016 4:03pm by Rebecca Coulter.

     During our lunch break on Monday, the boys were discussing the afternoon's task of putting roofing metal on the new milking parlor  addition, which is this winter's building project.  Since it had sleeted during the morning, they started telling stories of 'slippery roof adventures' they had heard about from friends who work on construction crews.  One of the guys, when he started sliding, quickly grabbed his hammer from his tool belt and slammed it through the roofing metal to keep himself from a fall off the roof, only to have his boss fuss at him for ruining the sheet of metal!

     Later that afternoon, seventeen year old Jacob showed up in my office with a sort of sheepish look on his face.  When I asked him what was up, he told me he had fallen off the roof of the new addition.  Of course my first question was to make sure he was OK... he was, since he had only fallen about 8 feet, and landed on a convenient dirt pile.  When I asked the obvious second question of why he didn't slam his hammer through the roof, he laughed and said he was holding a nail gun.  I guess that is a disadvantage to fancy equipment!  Later that afternoon they finished the roof, and are now planning the best way to enclose the area so that they can continue to work as the weather gets colder.

Posted 12/1/2016 9:34am by Rebecca Coulter.

     When we started our dairy herd in the spring of 2013, we were using an old milking parlor that came with the farm.  It had been constructed on a shoe-string budget, hadn't ever had much maintenance done, and had been sitting unused for 5 years. While it served well enough to get us started, we soon realized that we needed to either do some major upgrades, or totally rebuild.  The boys were optimistic and enthusiastic about taking on a building project.  Kinley was thinking it would be a great opportunity to bring the milking herd to the home farm, since they boys have been driving to milk at a farm three miles away.  The lone dissenting voice came from me, with my usual question of  "How are we going to pay for this?", and my concern about making a 10 year plan with boys who are 21, 19, and 17.  The boys were quick to reassure me that they aren't intending to leave anytime soon, and Kinley pointed out that having capacity to graze and milk 60 cows instead of 30 would help to pay for the project.

     So, here are Jason (on the skidloader) and Jacob (with the laser transit) digging the trench for the footer for a 24'x48' milking parlor.  Suddenly, all the conversations in our home are about trenches, trusses and headers; and any time I'm out on an errand I can expect a call asking me to pick up a box of nails or some Quikrete :).


     Yesterday, Jared and Jason nailed the first header in place, and by tomorrow they hope to have the trusses set.  They boys are looking forward to completing the project by spring, and milking in a shiny, organized parlor, where everything works the way it is supposed to.