Monday, June 6, 2011
LEGACY OF THE CALF
After completing my last post I recalled that one of the most rewarding events in my farming experience was delivering a calf. Young heifers, giving birth to their long legged calves, can often have problems and need help. I had seen Dave help deliver a calf several times. Thus, I was not at a total loss when I came across a young cow unable to deliver her baby. I quickly got some baler twine and reached inside the mom and looped the rope around the calves' front legs. Then carefully pulling and guiding the legs first and then the head I then pulled as she pushed. We soon had another beautiful black and white baby Holstein who would grow up to produce hundreds of pounds of milk per week.
When I left the Marine Corps my family moved to the country and lived in an old one-room schoolhouse in Thetford, Vermont. My son, Jeff was fortunate to have the same experience as I had years earlier. In his early teens Jeff worked on our neighbor's dairy farm. He, like me received the attention and care of that farm family; Junior an Alice Sayer.
Dave and Cindy had been like older siblings or young parents to me while Junior and Alice were like grandparents to Jeff. I will never forget the day Jeff tooled into our yard on his mini-bike and ran into the house. Evidently, he had been alone in the barn when a young heifer was struggling to give birth. He did exactly as his dad had done 20 years earlier and helped bring another calf safely into the world. Jeff felt the same thrill of accomplishment and joy that I had felt those many years earlier.