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Farm Bleat: Springtime on the farm

Growing up on the farm, I could easily say my least favorite season of the year was spring. Between snowmelt and rain showers, my pair of navy blue and silver moon boots didn't take well to the mud. If I wasn't slipping and sliding in the goat ya...

Growing up on the farm, I could easily say my least favorite season of the year was spring. Between snowmelt and rain showers, my pair of navy blue and silver moon boots didn’t take well to the mud. If I wasn’t slipping and sliding in the goat yard, I was losing a boot in the cattle yard - and ending up with a sock drenched in brown stuff when my forward motion couldn’t backtrack fast enough.

I loved those moon boots, but I hated the mud.

In the last week, I’ve been driving up and down gravel roads in the area, entering farmsteads and sitting down with family farmers to talk about their way of life. It’s all in preparation for The Globe’s annual Century Farm special edition that publishes in June. With all of the rain this spring, it’s best to get the interviews scheduled and photos taken before the farmers get in the fields - even though the field is where they’d much rather be right about now.

On Monday, my travels took me south of Luverne. The bumpy and rutted gravel road led to a farmstead with three goats, two alpacas and a donkey in the pasture, and an array of colored chickens roaming the yard.

The smile was still pasted on my face when I met the farmers.

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“Now this is my kind of farm!” I said. Goats were my 4-H and FFA projects - my pets - growing up. I’d always wanted a donkey, but that was the one thing Dad never let me buy. And the alpacas, well, they’re just the cutest farm critters.

Actually, all farm animals are adorable when they are babies.

Over the weekend, I drove by fields of baby calves and oohed and aahed out the side window of the car. It made me wish of days gone by - of morning chores and the discovery of a pair of twins or triplets in the goat pen, or a set of twin lambs in the sheep pen. They came with a lot of extra work for this former farm girl and her dad, making pens and making sure the mommas were taking care of their babies, but also a lot of rewards.

Nothing beats the pure joy of watching goat kids excited to be outdoors, of baby calves learning to stand on wobbly legs, or of baby chicks brought home from the farm store.

Save for the mud, life on the farm sure was fun in the springtime.

Opinion by Julie Buntjer
Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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