Randall Grabau © 2016
Most of Heritage Farm’s dairy cows were sold on August 9, 2016. It was an emotional day for me. I had milked those cows or their ancestors for more than 38 years. It was the production from those cows that had made it possible for Wendy and me to raise our children on this farm.
The ancestors of those cow, milked by Norman and Judy Grabau had provided income for the family I grew up in and even my grandparents, Ernest and Selma Grabau, had raised their family with ancestors of the cows we recently sold. For me, it was like selling part of my family.
As a young couple, we arrived back at Heritage Farm in 1978 to begin the process of taking over the farm from my parents. People told Dad and me that a thirty-cow herd would never produce enough milk to support all of us. We were told we either we had to get bigger or get out of business. They were wrong.
For the last 38 years our small herd provided almost our entire income. Neither my wife nor I ever held an off-the-farm responsibility that gave us a significant income. The income our cows produced allowed us to work together on our farm and raise our four children. It was the milk our cows produced that made it possible for our children to attend Christian schools (elementary, high school and college.) Our cows and the blessing of the Lord keep us from being obligated to a financial institution for most of those 38 years.
photo credits Wenda Grabau
Faye Koenigsberg says
Oh, Randy! I feel for you. I know cows are a lot of work and price of milk never seemed to be high enough, but still you loved those gentle creatures. They were part of your life for so long. I grew up on a dairy farm in PA and we had 30 registered Holsteins. It will take awhile to establish a new routine and you will always have a soft spot in your heart for cows. You did a good job with a small herd and should be proud. I am sure there will be someone or something around the bend that will need your time and attention. Farmers are always busy.