The sun shined through the stream of pressurized water as I sprayed out the parlor, creating a perfect mini rainbow. How many times had I done the same task and not noticed the beautiful prism?
In fact, how often do we complete the same tasks every day of the year in the dairy industry? Every day is always a little bit different, but every day the same tasks have to be completed. Milk, feed, care . . . lather, rinse, repeat. The predictability and repetitiveness can sometimes get rather boring.
Maybe it’s just that I am feeling nostalgic as we get ready to move into our new facility — a newly constructed robotic milking system. I am realizing that soon, it will be the last time I complete some of these monotonous tasks. But more often lately, I am realizing the importance of those tasks that we sometimes accomplish in autopilot.
Wash, strip, attach, dip; the milking procedure is one of those important monotonous tasks. Are you and your employees paying the same attention to the 100th cow as the first?
Scoop, weigh, measure, mix; is the feed being mixed in the same manner every time?
Feed, water, observe; did you notice the calf that was the tiniest bit slow to get up to eat?Watch the sunset on another dairy day from the same location as you’ve been blessed to the last 20 years and still see the beauty in the colors. The monotony of daily tasks can in fact be boring. Attention to detail and willingness to do the job right every time can in fact make or break a dairy farm. And while you’re at it, be willing to find the beauty in it!
The author is a dairy farmer and writer from central Minnesota. She farms with her husband, Glen, and their three children. Sadie grew up on a dairy farm in northern Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in agricultural communications and marketing. She also blogs at Dairy Good Life.