Flat Aggie spent the month of October keeping busy in Nebraska. She visited Maricle Family Farms, which is in northeast Nebraska near the town of Albion. Our farm was established in 1871 and now the 6th generation is running the farm. Working as a family is the best part of our farm! We get to work every day with our kids and their grandparents. We raise beef cattle, pigs, sheep, corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Raising all of these different things keeps us busy.
While visiting, Flat Aggie was given a farm tour by Cassidy (9 years old) and Kate (6 years old). She met the bucket calves, the sheep and the pigs, and saw the feed for the animals and our semi that we use to haul corn. Cassidy and Kate have three older brothers, Austin (18), Carson (12) and Cody (12) that help on the farm. Their parents are Brian and Hilary Maricle. Flat Aggie even went to a State Farm Bureau meeting with Hilary to see how we share the story of agriculture and food.
One adventure was to help move cows home from the pasture. All of the cows that had fall calves, born in August and September, had to be moved home to graze cornstalks and to be fed during the winter. This project took a lot of help, we even hired semis to help haul the cows and calves home from Burwell, NE where our friends, the Simon’s, cared for them during the summer while they were on pasture. To get the cows in, we used horses and then loaded them on the semi. After they traveled the 75 miles, we unloaded the cows and calves. They were separated on the drive so the cows didn’t squeeze the calves. After they were unloaded, they spent the night in the yards by the barn to make sure each calf found its mother. The next day, we fenced in the corn field that had been picked so that they could graze the cornstalks and then turned them out. The mama cows love the stalks and their calves liked to run away from the cows and then run back.
Another main event in the fall is harvesting our crops! Flat Aggie had fun riding along with Brian in the combine. It is a lot of fun to watch the stalk of corn come into the corn head, then to see the corn kernels dumped into the grain holding bin and then be loaded onto wagons to be hauled away. The corn that Flat Aggie saw being combined will be stored on the farm in bins and then sold and hauled to town during the winter. Flat Aggie also was able to see how technology is used on the farm. In the combine, there are monitors that track everything! The combine can steer itself and then it counts how much corn there is per acre so we know our yields (amount of corn grown). Tracking the yields and knowing every inch of the field helps us to make decisions about what corn and many kernels (the plant population) to plant next year. Farmers today really have to know how to use computers and technology.
It was fun to have Flat Aggie visit our farm and we hope that you learned a little bit about a diversified farm in Nebraska. We had a really nice October without any snowstorms or strong winds to knock the corn over like it does sometimes. This made Flat Aggie’s visit a little bit easier, but she didn’t get to see the snowblade that we put on the tractor to get through to feed the cattle. Hopefully, Flat Aggie will get to see snow in December.
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