Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Never Want to Do That Again, but I am Thankful

I never want to move again. Not just move, move all of the cattle, which means prepping the new site for cattle which equals fence, water, power, and the act of physically moving 21 animals 65 miles. I never want to move a the stuff a farm accumulates over seven years. Feeders, waterers, tools, trailers, fence panels, chicken pens, etc. I also don't want to, but will have to move all of our freezers, product inventory, and not to mention our household possessions, again.

Moving the Chicken Pens to The New Farm

A Load of Freezers Headed to Ames

This process started in September, when fence building went from a need to an urgent need. Let me just say, we have awesome friends. Many of whom sacrificed repeated weekends to help build and repair fence. Together we ran several hundred feet of high tensile fence, installed three gates, and repaired 2/3 of the entire south side fence on the new farm. That entailed removing obsolete wood and steel posts, and replacing them with steel posts, and re-hanging the wire. And doing it in weather that was not pleasant to work in.

Nate, Jared, and I Building a Corner Brace

On November 1st, we lost access to our old pasture and had to move our cattle to the new place. That meant four trips back and forth, and catching all of the animals so we could make the trips. If you have seen my handling facilities, you would know that they are not remotely up to the challenge. The whole process was pretty miserable.

Catching cattle in the Cattle Shed Proved the Easiest Way to Load Cattle

Unloading the First Load of Cattle at the New Farm

When we moved the cattle, our water system was nonexistent so I spent several weeks racing to install a water system only to have to reinstall half of it again, because of a critical failure. Thankfully, the cattle were able to get water out of a draw the whole time, even with the crazy cold November weather.

Cobett Waterer Installation

Water Pipe Installation

Functional Cobett

 We Have a Leak

 Exploratory Digging of Leak Reveals a Large Connection Failure

Primary Spot Cattle Have Been Drinking From the Waterway

Janice Running a Rented Mini-Excavator During Second Water Pipe Installation

Instead of moving house and farm stuff, I was spending a great deal of time working on a water system, which then led into November deliveries for Thanksgiving, and the water system again to replace the massive failure. This all compressed the amount of time we had available to move down to a few days and resulted in a frantic mess. On top of that, we learned that the new owner was going to destroy every building on the farm, except the chicken building and start over. So there was a bit of an additional scramble to salvage some additional items because of that.

Bye Bye Home

Needless to say, the children were stressed out by the move and the new household that we setup in Ames. Of course, we were also very stressed out and strained by the whole process. Janice was not only moving, but prepping to present her final group project for her MBA, and coordinating contractors on the new house. Despite all of the stress of the past 8 weeks, I am thankful for a few things.
After Several Weeks, Janice and I Finally got an Evening Together

First, I am thankful that this move is in the past, seriously thankful. Second, I am thankful that Janice and I love each other as much as we do, because I sure pushed her to the limit (actually past quite a bit). Third, I am thankful that we have awesome friends and family, like Nathan, Rob, Tom, and Jen for helping us move household items, like Audra, Jeremy, and Michael for wiring our building,  like Jared, Adam, Nate, Jeremy, Rob, and Michael for helping with fence building, and Jared, Amanda, and Darvin for helping watch the kids. A special thanks to Jared and Adam for spending successive weekends out on the farm building fence well into the night. Lastly, I am thankful that things are starting to normalize a bit and that new routines are finally starting to get set-up.

Helpers Loading the Livestock Trailer

Stay tuned as we hopefully start to frame a house this week and look at doing some December deliveries.

The Basement is Fully Poured and Framing Should Begin Soon