Where did January go?!?
So trite, but so true. January is the one month when you think there should be a bit of downtime on the farm, especially a Midwest grain farm! But not so.
January seems to be the month to haul the recently harvested corn and beans to market. For our farm, that means hauling to several different buyers. One is the local coop that loads containers for the Asian customers. Another is an ag company who loads 100-car unit trains. Most of this grain goes to feed cattle and chickens, which eventually ends up as protein-packed meat on our dinner plates.
When we are not hauling grain, my husband, brother, and nephew are doing maintenance work on the tractors and planting equipment in preparation for spring. Although it is 2 degrees, with 30 mph winds today, I know spring WILL come! A few years ago we built a heated shop. That makes it a lot more comfortable for the guys on these cold days. We did buy a new machine to apply nitrogen to the young corn plants this spring. They guys are putting that machine together in the shop too. It’s always a bit more fun to be working on something new than just repairing the older machinery!
January is also the month that I do “catch up” in the farm office. We meet with some of our landlords in January too. In fact, just a couple weeks ago, a father-son landlord team brought their wives to our home for dinner. It’s always fun to visit and learn what is happening with their children and grandchildren.
Speaking of family, we take every possible opportunity to play with our granddaughters! In January, my daughter-in-law, Erin, hosted a bridal shower brunch at her home for my niece. That meant Erin had to miss parent/tot swim lessons. But, Grandpa said he would love to help out! Even though Grandpa said he was the only guy with gray hair in the pool, he had a blast!
A few farm meetings, opportunities to speak to an area high school agricultural class and the local Rotary, as well as, watching a few Illini basketball games with friends bring us to the last week of January and looking forward to what possibilities February will bring.