Good Sunny Morning from the springy Knolltop.
Okay, the heifer naming contest has a winner. But I have no prizes to offer...just a simple story.
Years ago while growing up, I had a great friend, Julie Robb. She and I were in 4-H together and then roomed in college together. I think I've written this all before, but I'm sure you're like me....you've forgotten and so I will give you a refresher!
Julie grew up on a registered Holstein dairy just a few miles from me and she is the youngest of seven children. She and I spent a lot of time together at each other's farm and just had and still do have a great friendship. But Julie's dad, George, was a different story. In my eyes he was very intimidating. He mumbled and I had to really strain to understand him, his mumbling sounded mean and I was always afraid of him. We would sit at their big breakfast table and I would cringe everytime he spoke to me.
But for some reason I loved Julie's life and I wanted it. I wanted to be the one on a Holstein dairy, I wanted to go to the Holstein meetings and be a part of the Michigan Junior Holstein Association. When Julie came back from the National Holstein Convention in Tennessee and told all about the fun they had, I was green with envy and wanted to be a part of it. But I had my own path, I had my own cows and my family had a different kind of dairy farm.
While George was into marketing his Holstein genetics and was deeply embedded in the black and white world, my dad was more worried about getting milk from cows, no matter what the color. Convincing him that we could take a show string to the state fair and not have them come back with mastitis and no milk was like convincing Pharoh to let the Israelites go. But with my mom's help, we persuaded my dad to let us go and from them on, we went to every show we could....showing Ayrshires by the way.
Julie and I went to Michigan State and together we were in the Dairy Club and we did a lot together. But I was an animal science major and she was a food systems management major. When we left college, our lives took very different paths. I took a job as the editor of the Farmers' Advance and she went to Disney World and was part of hotel management. I married a fitter, the kind of guy we both drooled over during our show days and she married an Irishman who is a chef. When I became co-owner of a registered Holstein dairy farm, she moved to Chicago and began working in computer programming. I had four kids and she had two.
Today I am now on the path that I thought she would be on and she is on a different one. I'm now an advisor to the Michigan Junior Holstein Association and my son is on the board. Last month I was elected to the Michigan Holstein Association and next month I will have my first article published in the Holstein International magazine.
What would George think if he were still with us? Would he continue to mumble in my direction making me cringe like a silly little girl? Would he wonder how an Ayrshire girl got so involved in a black and white world? Or would he just smile and give us that silly laugh saying, "See, I told you you'd go further with Holsteins instead of those Ayrshires."
So in honor of my good friend Julie and her cow family of Rena, Rachel and Racquel, the crew at Knolltop Farm have officially named the newest heifer "Rachel."