Our family loves music--and thus the theme to this website. But the music in this house mostly flows from our oldest son, Bradyn, who is a gifted musician. He hears music in everything. His love for music has added so much to our lives, just as his being our oldest and first born has done, as well. Ecclessiates 3:1 says, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." In our home and on our farm, the latest "season change" has not been spring to summer, but child to young man. Bradyn (said oldest son) is 17 and starting his college work in less than a month. He has spent most of the summer in a variety of states studying and performing music. With that change, comes a change in his ability to participate in the ebb and flow of the farm, in keeping his own herd and even in simply being here with us.
Instead of checking his homework, I am flying off to watch recitals, sitting with a luthier to evaluate a college-level violin and crunching numbers not for the latest alfalfa purchase, but for college fees. What an exciting and scary time for me and actually all of us here. We are a tightly knit family, and even Bradyn's younger siblings have had to adjust to his absence and change of activities.
On the farm, that means the remaining two does in his herd, Cole's Estate are now ours. That transfer has brought a tremendously exciting animal to us and lots more milk in the pail. It means that we have shifted many chores to the next two oldest boys and back to me, as well. Instead of heading to Nationals this year, as we had hoped, I stayed home while Mark flew Bradyn out to stay with family in Arkansas and attend piano and strings camp at the same place where his grandfather did so many years ago as a young man. So many things are the same; so many things have changed.
And this also means a new website. Our old website will stay up for awhile (www.bannerfieldfarm.com) and we hope to actually migrate this one to that URL in time. While I was a systems engineer in a former life, I have never been a desktop or web person. This change will be slow, but hopefully sustainable as we have had many comments from folks both far and near that our website is sorely out of date. Bradyn designed and programmed that site --another one of his talents--and I thank him for creating such a fine web presence for us.
And so, here we are--thank you for coming along with us! Welcome to the new home of Bannerfield Farm Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats and the blog of the herd queen/concertmaster! I hope to keep things up to date and interesting for those who'd like to peek into our little world now and again.
So what else is new in this exciting season? Our homebred animals are finally maturing and really proving themselves in the pail, in linear appraisal and a bit in the show ring. We are working on a slogan to convey how much performance is behind what we do--not just the performance here on the farm, but in helping our customers and the herds that we mentor to understand what dairy performance really means. The internet is a world of smoke and mirrors and many folks never dig in and see what these animals not only can do--but how they do it over time. What do I mean by that? How about the line, "This doe is 5 pound milker." What does that mean to you? Lactations have curves and many folks are disappointed to get that 5 pound milker home to find that she is milking 2 pounds because that doe either doesn't sustain a lactation well, or quite simply, she is 8 months fresh and nearing the end of a "normal" lactation. Or--how about this--why should one care how large a does' nostrils are? Well, it matters, and if you have time to spend with one of few highly experienced and trained linear appraisers or a breeder that has been at this for decades---you will find these things out. They all relate to true performance. These are the things we hope to keep learning, proving in our herd and helping others to learn. That's performance here on the farm---and meanwhile we get to enjoy the performances of our oldest son in this ever-changing season. :-)