If I was the kind of person that wore T shirts or caps I would get one that says “I love New York”. Every time I’ve been it’s been a great experience, whether I am in the Big City, or out in the country, and there is a lot of out in the country in the state of New York.
I spent the last three days doing Dairy and Beef Stockmanship and Stewardship trainings for the NCBA. They have partnered with Merc this year and you can see all the great things going in 2019 at Stockmanshipandstewardship.org . Check it out and come see us.
The weather was not the best and I got to drive on some real tough roads because of the “lake effect” around Syracuse. I rented a little Chevy Cruze and that thing was terrible in the snow and I got stuck a couple of times.
The dairy and beef producers are very unique in New York State. The feel I get is they are very progressive producers, but have real strong moral and social values, and it’s kind of like going back in time about thirty years. They are kind of a bunch of sophisticated hicks, and I say that as a real compliment.
I did three daytime dairy trainings and went to three very different dairy’s. The main difference was the milking parlor and number of cows, and the different personalities of the management. All were very interested in cow comfort and care, and I don’t know if anything I said or demonstrated helped, but they sure were listening and watching to see if I had anything worthwhile. That’s all I hope for.
Two evening programs were beef focused. One was at a real nice Farm, the Center Dale Farm, in Black River. It turned real cold and they had a good supper out in a barn and the only heat was a single propane heater. We all gathered up after supper around the heater and I talked for quite a long time hoping everyone would get cold and want to go home and not want me to work live cattle. Well that backfired on me as I got cold talking and still had to go outside in an open front shed and work some cattle. Don’t think New Yorkers can’t take a little cold. It was a fun evening with real good people.
The next night we were at a sale barn, Empire Livestock in Bath, New York, had a good meal and I talked and had some real nice steers to work with in the ring.(heated ring). I just really enjoyed the people at both meetings and felt good about the things I presented to them on behalf of the Stockmanship and Stewardship program. It seems like a long ways to go and lots of money spent, but they didn’t waste any time with five meetings in three days.
There was another presentation at the dairy meeting that I really enjoyed, think is a very important subject that fit right with what I was doing.
Erica Leubner of NY Farmnet presented on communication (human)on the farm. She was a great presenter and it really set the stage for for what I was going to present. I would like to see her present at cattleman’s college next year. Good stuff.
I had some fun things happen while I was spending my time in New York.
They were very organized at setting things up and I had a list with addresses and times of my presentations. The second day I got to town early, drove out and found the dairy, had some time so I went back to town and looked at some skid steers(I’m on the hunt for a new one for the ranch). I then went to the Route 38 bar and grille, as my instructions instructed, and was wondering where everyone was. I got a text from the extension person wondering where I was. They were at a local church for the meeting. So, it hasn’t happened for quite some time but I was at a bar when I should have been at a church.
The other funny thing that happened was when outsiders go to dairy, for bio security reasons everyone wears plastic booties over their footwear. I have rubber overshoes and use disinfecting scrub because the booties always tear and they are slick.
So they handed them out at the parlor, everyone put them on and headed to the barn we were going to work in, which was was quite a ways off. The guy that was hosting for the dairy took off at a fast walk as the wind was blowing and it was cold. I was at the back of the pack and I had to stop and lean against the building because I was laughing so hard. When the group hit the ice and snow no one could walk and about five of them were in a pile on the ground. They were all young and having fun and they were laughing too. When Brad got to the barn he turned around to look and about half the people following were on the ground, he had to lean against the building laughing. We all got a big laugh and were happy to get in out of the wind and on concrete. I guess confinement isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be.
After I finished up at the “bottoms up dairy”, I decided to drive to Niagara Falls. If you want to take the back roads in populated areas all you have to do is set your gps for no toll roads. I always do that as I like to see the country from two lanes instead of four. It took me twice as long to get there but I really saw some nice farm country.
It was cold and miserable and the fog and the mist were heavy and made it hard to see, but it was really great to see. They said the number of people visiting is usually way higher, but the weather had them backed off.
I’m glad I went. The power and beauty is unimaginable until you see it.
So that was my trip. I love New York!