It's been a tough couple years for dairy farmers. Milk prices have been historically low due to an oversupply of milk. Diversification through our maple business has helped us through tough times and we continue to look into ways to add value to our farm.
If you drive by our farm you may notice a new construction site in the place of an equipment barn that unfortunately burned down this past winter. While recovering from that huge loss and considering where to go next, we decided that we have to march on. We'll be building a new barn in the place of the old barn where we'll raise calves and young cows, or heifers, for our farm and for neighbor farms. Currently we don't have the space to raise our calves, and after they're born we sell them to other dairy farmers to be raised for dairy or beef. That means we currently have to purchase milking cows to maintain our herd.
This new barn will allow us to raise our calves from birth until they are about two years old, and then when it's time for them to become milking cows they'll join our cows in our barn across the road, or we'll sell them to become milking cows at one of our neighbor farms in Vermont. Instead of having to purchase cows, we're looking forward to being able to raise our own calves to become milking cows. The barn will be a free-stall barn that allows the calves and cows to be grouped by their age group, and roam around freely with their pals as they grow up.
Construction is beginning this week and should take about two months. We don't have any photos yet, but we set up a time-lapse camera near the construction site and we're looking forward to sharing with you the progress!