North Dakota Dairy Farm


Who called Road trip? We did, last week, we took a road trip to North Dakota to visit Navar’s brother and sister-in-law and their three small kids.  Lots of fun we’ve been wanting to check out their small dairy farm for the last few years.  Finally, we had a moment to jump in the car and check things out. Lots and lots of fun we even milked a few cows.  I have a new appreciation for where milk comes from and how much hard work it can be. I had a small worry that I would lose a shoe in a steamy cow pie. I think in some ways I’m a bit of a girly girl,  I like sparkles and cupcake sprinkles.  I like nature, I just don’t want too much on my clothes or shoes.

When I stepped down just outside the calves’s pen, to bottle feed a calf, there was an area covered with straw. Underneath the straw was lots of cow pee and poo, one foot slowly began to sink into and over my shoe.  My eyes must have gotten pretty wide because everyone asked me “Are you Ok?” The look on my face probably looked like a potential melt down.  I dug deep not wanting to be too much like a city slicker and said ” I’m fine” and laughed it off.

The next day they offered me a pair of muck boots to wear, plastic boots that go up to the knee I gratefully excepted. There were so many things about visiting the farm that I loved. The giant dark brown wooden table that could easily fit ten people around it.  Eating dinner there twice,  handing plates back and forth.  The home-made bread and the beautiful home-made rhubarb pie with ice cream.  Going out with the kids to gather fresh eggs.  Seeing  two of the cats stretched out sleeping in the chicken coup a safe place to sleep away from the overly excitable new puppy. The other dog an older very friendly German Shepherd quietly in charge of the farm.  He would help to round-up the cows he was such a good dog.  I also loved the moment late into the evening, everyone tired from milking cows, seeing the lady of the house putting out a flat pan of fresh cows milk for the cats. I tried to take a picture of this moment, but the light was too dim and I was too tired to think to use my flash.  I was hoping to share this image with you, but I only have the words.

In the morning, after having milked the cows late into the night, the rooster begins to crow as the bright morning light streams through the window without curtains. Navar asks me where the snooze alarm is on the rooster? It was a war of wills as I refused to jump out of bed the rooster relentless in his cock a doodle doo’s after a good twenty minutes I buckled and set my tired feet on the floor to find out where the coffee was. No coffee tea drinkers, I was so glad the impulse to buy dried coffee packets before our trip. I grabbed a cup of hot water and joyously put the dried coffee into the cup. Grabbing a piece of home-made bread and peanut butter and having a couple of cups of joe.

I knew the first order of the day was to go out to milk cows.  Navar comes into the kitchen sweaty and breathless  and says “You just missed it 5 calves broke loose from the barn and I was out chasing them.  I got one by the tail.” I wish I could have seen that I’m sure that would have made a great YouTube video. Never a dull moment on the farm is my guess. Navar’s sister-in-law who is pregnant and two weeks from her due date. I was impressed with her get it done work ethic. I know farm work is hard work and there are always chores to be done. They often have farm hands visiting, currently a nice lady from Japan and another a nice lady from Namibia, both learning about the dairy business.  I was glad to spend time with their kids we had some great moments together taking pictures of the chickens and drawing and simply chatting it will be one of those trips that I will always remember very fondly.




30 responses »

  1. Thanks for the great post, Starla…. love the report on a real family farm, cow pie and all. And the pictures bring it all home. Who ever said North Dakota was boring? It’s just how you look at it!

    • Thank You Gina :+) It was a really fun road trip! It’s nice to be able to travel around on the roads not having to worry about snow and ice. I love summer for that reason it’s easier to get around.

  2. I very much like this. I am disappointed with wordpress though. The quality of the pictures were much better on the computer than they translated to the blog.
    We like cow poo
    yes we do
    we like cow poo
    how bout you?

    • Thank You Navar! :+) We like cow poo :+) Ewwwww. That sure was fun I had a great time. I’m not worried about the pictures sometimes photos come out and sometimes they don’t it could have been me. It was hard to work milking cows and think about taking pictures at the same time.

    • Thank You Nia! I was sad the photo that I wanted to show you of the kitties drinking milk didn’t come out but as I was there watching the kitties. I thought of all your wonderful photos of cats. I hope you have a wonderful week as well.

  3. Once again your photos are fantastic and for someone who knows nothing about the area, thank you 🙂 I do love a road trip. All that crazy singing and dancing I can do in the car

    • Thank You I sure love taking photos it’s fun having a blog where I can put some photos up from time to time. It’s also fun to share pictures of the area. I had never been to North Dakota so it was new to me as well. :+) Dancing in the car I will have to remember that for my next road trip.

    • It was really fun and somthing so different from our normal day. The next morning it’s so quiet what happen to all the chickens and rooster shrug “I don’t know :+).” It made me wonder do people get use to the sound of roosters crowing in the morning? Can you ever sleep in if you have a rooster? Just things that I wonder about.

  4. These were awesome photo’s and I loved the post. You know what I heard on the news last week? Our MN Zoo has a “working farm” and they were reporting on it and they said that small children were more afraid of cows than lions, tigers or bears. Isn’t that weird? They said because they’re not used to seeing them at zoos. Good for you for going here. I’d always like to see more photos.

    • Thanks Joy! :+) We sure had a lot of fun. It’s funny that kids would be more afraid of cows, but I guess after being around them a little bit I have a new respect for them they are so big. It was strange milking them we had to dip their utters to sanitise them. It was strange reaching between their legs. I was saying padon me Miss. It was a little scary. Navar had a cow step on his hand. I guess nobody there had ever had their hand step on. It’s all healed now.

  5. Pingback: Free Chat Thursday « Starla's Chat

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