Can You Farm in All This Rain?
Life on the farm revolves around watching the weather and in this growing season, the view hasn’t changed much- rain, rain, and more rain. For crop and vegetable producers the abundant spring rains delayed planting or even worst rotted transplants. Now all the rain may delay or even prevent their harvest before the produce or grain wet rots.
As a grass-based livestock farm, Evermore Farm doesn’t have to deal with those problems. Instead, this kind of weather can bring on pneumonia in the baby pigs and calves. We need to keep the feed troughs cleaned daily since any feed left will turn moldy from the moisture and moldy feed makes animals sick. While all our animals have access to pasture or runs 24/7/365, they still prefer to come in out of the rain. That means we need to keep adding clean, dry straw to the pens to keep them from turning into a wet, mucky mess. We’ll also use some time to repair fences, service the skidloader, and plan the winter group arrangements for mature verses younger animals. We’ll keep the farm store stocked with our pasture-raised meats and other specialty foods for our Friday and Saturday customers. Of course there’s always accounting and record keeping to update.
I admit that I’m tired of the rain and the gloomy days. But when you have animals that depend upon you for their care, you put on dry socks, put on your boots, and get back out there. It’s still easier to deal with all this rain than to plow and shovel snow. I hope Fall lasts for a long time this year.
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Ginger Myers was born and raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Her family left their farm in Mercersburg when she was only six years old, but she spent many Sunday afternoons and summers with her cousins working and learning on their family dairy farms. Along the way she became inoculated with the farming “bug”. She is a proud Penn State graduate. It was while working as a Field Agent for the Pennsylvania Guernsey Breeders Association that she met and married John Myers, a third generation dairy farmer. They began their married lives as dairy farmers on John’s paternal grandfather’s farm, but that was not to last. While not always actively farming, they’ve both always worked in fields related to agriculture. They have been sweethearts, best friends, and life partners for more than thirty years.
Ginger established and operated a wet-chemistry testing lab for 10 years that specialized in analyzing feed and forages. She worked as an Ag Marketing Specialist in Economic Development in Howard County, Maryland, for 8 years, and is the State Marketing Specialist for Ag and Natural Resources with the University of Maryland Extension. She has had the privilege of working closely with several NESARE projects, served on the Maryland State Agriculture Commission, and has been a longtime member of Future Harvest CASA- serving four terms on its Board of Directors.
John and Ginger have made lots of great friends working in agriculture and as producers. Evermore Farm is their ardent effort to “walk the talk” about the viability of diversified, sustainable small farms. However, both agree that their best “crop” is their children, Susan and Andrew. Both are now married with wonderful partners and have children of their own. Family is our greatest joy and serves as “True North” on the farmer’s compass.
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