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Thread: How to get time off

  1. #41
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    We just heard another farm near us is selling out when their feed is gone or their Mexican leaves, whatever happens first.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by cows250 View Post
    More bartering in Barron...

    My neighbor is actually getting a real vacation for a week with his extended family. They arrived in Florida this afternoon to spend time at Disney World, and won't be back until the 20th. Should be good for another couple weaned calves for me. (There is a really pretty red, possibly PP polled bull calf...after he gets tested he will either go to stud, or become Mr. Steer on my place.) One of the biggest issues to making a small dairy work, IMO, is being able to have some time off. Saying you milked 1000, 2000, 3000+ milkings in a row sounds impressive, but it can lead to a really crappy attitude over time. Also, some tasks simply require more than one set of hands....having someone you can call for help (that isn't going to charge $100/hr) can make a big difference.
    The problem, cows250, is there's only like one of you in the entire state of Wisconsin.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cousinit View Post
    The problem, cows250, is there's only like one of you in the entire state of Wisconsin.
    That's probably for the best...

  4. #44

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    Growing up my dad and his two brothers farmed together and nobody really got any time off, ever. So having multiple family members in the operation is not always the way to get off time. Where I work now the owners can and have left for a week or more and never gotten a phone call. So you could follow their strategy, find some young and ambitious guys who want to get started farming and hire/partner with them. I really think the attitude you have approaching any situation has more of an influence on outcome than any other factor. Every operation is different, size can definitely be a factor. I do not have any proof other than one statewide survey, but I think reduced quality of life due to lack off time off has ended more dairy operations than lack of profitability.

  5. #45
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    It can be really frustrating trying to dairy alone. One uncooperative cow can sour your whole day. Having said that, I feel really bad for people that work their whole life only looking forward to time off and retirement. Nothing wrong with a break now and then but when time off consumes your every thought you should probably just look at a different way of life.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by whistle pig View Post
    Having said that, I feel really bad for people that work their whole life only looking forward to time off and retirement. Nothing wrong with a break now and then but when time off consumes your every thought you should probably just look at a different way of life.
    Time off doesn't consume every thought when you actually get said time off

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJefe View Post
    Time off doesn't consume every thought when you actually get said time off
    I must be slow today (today!?) but I don't understand.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by cousinit View Post
    I must be slow today (today!?) but I don't understand.
    The thought of time off doesn't consume my thoughts because I take time off.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoerMaak'nPlan View Post
    Growing up my dad and his two brothers farmed together and nobody really got any time off, ever. So having multiple family members in the operation is not always the way to get off time. Where I work now the owners can and have left for a week or more and never gotten a phone call. So you could follow their strategy, find some young and ambitious guys who want to get started farming and hire/partner with them. I really think the attitude you have approaching any situation has more of an influence on outcome than any other factor. Every operation is different, size can definitely be a factor. I do not have any proof other than one statewide survey, but I think reduced quality of life due to lack off time off has ended more dairy operations than lack of profitability.
    That last bit is probably about right IMO .
    "Those people who say they have no time for bodily exercise will soon have to find time for illness ". Joseph Pilates

  10. #50
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    I guess it's all a matter of perspective...

    A 1st grade teacher asked one of my daughters where her parents worked and her response was "my mom works at a hospital and my Dad just stays home all day".

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by whistle pig View Post
    I guess it's all a matter of perspective...

    A 1st grade teacher asked one of my daughters where her parents worked and her response was "my mom works at a hospital and my Dad just stays home all day".
    Would that make you a house husband heh heh ?
    "Those people who say they have no time for bodily exercise will soon have to find time for illness ". Joseph Pilates

  12. #52
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    The lack of time off has also ended quite a few marriages, which can end the dairy too. Joan is supportive of me farming, but I know that if I can't break free for at least a week or two each year she would get quite upset.

    Another factor I see in this is how efficiently a farm is set up. Is it possible for one guy to get all essential chores done in <6 hours to free up time to work on other projects or sneak out for an auction or lunch with the wife? If every day is a 12 hour day just to "tread water" then it is impossible for the owner to get away, and nearly impossible to find help that is willing to fill in. Also, the temperament of the the cattle, and the facilities to handle them really matter to someone thinking about helping. The neighbors cows are very calm and a stall barn allows one person to milk a kicky heifer if needed. A herringbone I worked in was just miserable....no way to restrain a cow (or even keep her in the right stall, couldn't hold her flank, and a post by every leg, limiting the way you could even hold the milker on. If there was a kicky cow all one lone guy could do was swear, which doesn't really help.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lead Cow View Post
    Would that make you a house husband heh heh ?
    That was the assumption...it was pretty funny when the teacher found out my occupation.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by whistle pig View Post
    I guess it's all a matter of perspective...

    A 1st grade teacher asked one of my daughters where her parents worked and her response was "my mom works at a hospital and my Dad just stays home all day".
    Very true. I don't doubt that a lot of farmers don't need or want time off. But I also get the impression from some farmers that because we are farmers we shouldn't expect or want to have time off or away. This couldn't be further from the truth nor should it be.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJefe View Post
    The thought of time off doesn't consume my thoughts because I take time off.
    Well it's been consuming our thoughts. It's nice we are down to months rather than years.

  16. #56
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    Pretty good point also cows250.

    My time milking in a tie stall was not very enjoyable. Building a freestall/parlor had a big impact on the way the next generation viewed farming. No doubt in my mind we would have exited dairy long ago without making things easier.

    I take time off whenever I want, I really don't like being away from home more than 3 days.... At that point all I think about is going home.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoerMaak'nPlan View Post
    Growing up my dad and his two brothers farmed together and nobody really got any time off, ever. So having multiple family members in the operation is not always the way to get off time. Where I work now the owners can and have left for a week or more and never gotten a phone call. So you could follow their strategy, find some young and ambitious guys who want to get started farming and hire/partner with them. I really think the attitude you have approaching any situation has more of an influence on outcome than any other factor. Every operation is different, size can definitely be a factor. I do not have any proof other than one statewide survey, but I think reduced quality of life due to lack off time off has ended more dairy operations than lack of profitability.
    The last thing I want to do is get in cahoots with some poor schmuck with time & no money. That is even worse than us, money & no time.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by whistle pig View Post
    That was the assumption...it was pretty funny when the teacher found out my occupation.
    Too funny, it is all perspective... heck, I get the same thing sometimes... because I work next to my house that I'm "home" when I'm working... thus I'm never working. Or when I'm in my house people think I'm not working...because that bookwork does itself.

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    DiederichFarm
    "You are only as good as your next success, not your last" Sir Jock Stirrup

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJefe View Post
    Very true. I don't doubt that a lot of farmers don't need or want time off. But I also get the impression from some farmers that because we are farmers we shouldn't expect or want to have time off or away. This couldn't be further from the truth nor should it be.
    I hear you. It amazes me when I get flack from peeps for saying that i think we shouldn't have to work 80+ hr weeks and that we should get days off regularly. I know it is a big reason people don't go back to farms...they see how others live and rightfully wonder why it should be that hard to farm.

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    "You are only as good as your next success, not your last" Sir Jock Stirrup

  20. #60
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    Yes I know quite a few divorcees still on their farms later in life . I agree with all that . If the parlour is pleasant to Work in , the cows are quiet and a relief person is happy to come in to work occasionally to then it has to be a whole lot more fun . If there's no quality of life it's going to be tough going for sure .

    Finding that balance between investing in the farm business and improving your standard of living is something I guess most people struggle a bit with .
    "Those people who say they have no time for bodily exercise will soon have to find time for illness ". Joseph Pilates

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