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Enough ruckus for New Hampshire

It's been a few days since the New Hampshire Primary, and now we can walk around without bumping into politicians, campaign workers or reporters. I guess we did better than Iowa; we were able to count the votes we cast. My regular readers know that counting is not easy. Although counting cows is different from counting votes, it's still essential. Knowing where all my cows are could save a life. Knowing where all the ballots are could save a state from embarrassment.

Bull Leasing?

Our bull plays his role for six weeks (July 1-Aug. 15), and then his job is finished. Unfortunately, he still has to eat. In summer there is plenty of grass, but in winter he'll eat a lot of expensive hay. So we get other farmers to share the cost of his upkeep by renting out his services. We are particular about who rents him. It has to be someone we trust; someone who'll treat him as we would; feed him quality hay; and provide veterinary care if necessary.

How Many Cattle Do I Have?

"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 to count, and it keeps changing all the time. When I meet ranchers from Utah or Texas, they don't hesitate to say 3,000, 10,000, or even 30,000 head of cattle. My next question is, "How do you count them?" My whole herd of 40 to 60 probably falls within a Texan's margin of error.

Ready for Ground Hog Day?

This year our mini-pig, Tazzy D. Moo, has agreed to challenge Phil’s role as end-of-winter-predictor by dressing up like a groundhog. This is an opportunity Tazzy has been waiting for her whole life. To honor tradition, she will wear a fashionable groundhog costume, but unlike Phil, who doesn’t speak, Tazzy will give a speech.

There's a calf in my kitchen!

It’s never a good idea for cows to give birth in the winter. A calf used to the 101.5-degree warmth of the womb can die of hypothermia when born in freezing temperatures. They need to be warm, dry, and nursing right away.

That Wasn't Me at the Fast-Food Joint

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 joint, hoping not to be recognized. My preaching about buying locally raised food did not fit with my impending snack. ("Hypocrite" is such an ugly word.) I rationalized that I wasn't breaking last New Year's resolution to eat only local food because, after all, I was seeking a baked potato....