Before the Sun Rises: Dusk. Dawn. Dairy. Diamond V. In Celebration of International Women`s Day
Rise and Shine
You rise at 5:00am. The alarm clock goes off on the cherry-stained nightstand. Instinctively, you shut it off and step out of bed. You quickly get dressed and shuffle downstairs. Entering the kitchen, you start the coffee pot. Your favorite white ceramic cup, with a chip on the handle, hangs above the kitchen sink. Pulling it from the hook, you fill it to the brim, taking a second to smell the fresh grounds. Nothing better than a cup of coffee in the morning. Black. Always. No sugar.
You stare out the kitchen window for a few minutes like you do every morning, thinking there’s something truly special about rising before the rest of the world. You know today won’t be like the last. No two days ever are. After a quick breakfast, you see the tip of the sun on the horizon as you swing open the back door. Walking onto the back porch you slip on your work boots, take a deep breath, and admire the morning dew that has settled on the spring grass. The gravel path beneath your boot crunches with your first step. Time to make the morning rounds. First on the agenda: milking the cows. Each cow will take about 5-10 minutes in the milking parlor, thanks to a state-of-the-art milking machine.
Next, it’s feeding time. This means putting out the morning feed so the girls can enjoy a good breakfast. You know the saying – “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” – but it’s much more than that. The product you feed them is working to help their immune system, allowing them to perform at their optimal capacity. Today, too many dairy cows are raised with antibiotics and hormones. You aim to avoid that at all costs. You want your herd raised without them. You know you can, by choosing a superior feed additive like Diamond V. A healthy herd is the end goal. You would never skip corners for your family, and you won’t skip corners with your feed.
As the cow’s munch, you know it’s almost 7:00am. Time to get the kids up, dressed, and fed. Ninety-eight percent of dairy farms are family-owned. You’re proud of this statistic. You kiss the kids goodbye, their backpacks swinging from their shoulders as they run to catch the bus. 8:00am – time to make time for your other kids – the calves! They’ll be hungry and craving their warm bottle of milk. You reapply their water, check them over, and make sure everyone looks strong and healthy. After distributing fresh straw, you decide to head to the barn and check on the cows. After this morning’s breakfast they most likely have moved their food around. Now would be a good time to push up the feed so it’s easier for them to reach, allowing them constant access. How are the ladies looking? Does anyone need extra attention? You check your watch. Noon – time to grab a quick bite.
After lunch, as you place your dirty dishes in the sink, you see the nutritionist pull up in the drive. You know she’ll analyze your cows’ feed, make sure everything is in check, and confirm the girls are getting the nutrients they need to be a healthy, happy, herd. You appreciate that Diamond V is a partner you can rely on. 3:30pm – milking time once again. You normally milk twice a day, but three times isn’t unheard of. A few hours pass. Milking is over, which means time to feed the baby calves too. Since the kids are home from school, they’re eager to help with this task.
At Day`s End
7:00pm – the sun begins to set. You glance out over your fields and inhale. This is one of your favorite parts of the day, watching the sunset over the vast hills of the countryside. You’ve never seen the Grand Canyon or the Great Wall, but you wonder how many people have seen a green countryside in the fading sun. Finally, you head back to the house for dinner with the family. Over a spilled glass of milk, clattered silverware, and laughing mouths filled with mashed potatoes, you settle in with your loved ones as the cows settle in for the night. It’s 9:30pm and the kids have finished their homework, baths, and are off to bed.
10:00pm – bedtime. You’ll be up in seven hours to do it all over again. As you climb the stairs a thought comes to mind. The same thought you have most nights. Today was a long day. A hard day. A strenuous day. You’re tired. Your body aches. Your hands are calloused. But today was also a good day. A productive day. A beautiful day. The health check went well – the cows are healthy. The baby calves are stronger than ever. Your feed is what your herd needs, thanks to the team at Diamond V. The food you feed your family, and all the families out there, will be of the highest quality too. And that right there is the best kind of day.
You glance over at the nightstand one last time to grab Lee’s photo. It’s been five years, yet you still tell him goodnight, as you always did, when he was by your side. You whisper to tell him the kids are good, and you think about how proud he’d be knowing you kept on working the farm without him.
Your head finally hits the pillow and you close your eyes to sleep. In seven hours, the alarm clock on the nightstand will go off. You will rise, and you’ll be outside before the sun crests the hills, knowing you’re taking care of not just your family, but the families of the world.