I’m getting married! Saying "I do" on a dairy farm is a dream of mine that's coming true. It was fun to see all the June brides, including our friends at Dutch Hollow who tied the knot. But I still have lots of preparations to make. My wedding to Chris Swarthout isn’t until September. That’s when things settle down on my family’s farm. I’m lucky to have the perfect backdrop of El-Vi Farms, where raising the next generation of dairy farmers continues to this day.
Farm Hustle and Bustle
Between July and September, there’s lots to be done. While June was jam-packed with final planting and the first cutting of alfalfa to make silage for the cows, alfalfa silage harvest continues through September.
So, it's safe to say, we have a few things going on.
July: The heat is on!
In July, extra care is given to make sure cows stay cool and comfortable. Our farm uses fans and misters, and soft, squishy mats like the one in the picture that the cow is standing on. Of course, the animals are given plenty of fresh water. Our cows, like those at Comfort Inn Dairy, prefer the comfort of a dairy barn.
August: A fair time for fun
September: Ushering out summer on the homestead
September, ahhh, it’s time to breathe a little sigh of relief. This is when things start to settle down a bit on our farm. Or at least until corn harvest in October. But this September will be different. We’ll be swinging into full wedding-mode. Chris and I chose to marry on the 15th of September, apparently one of the most popular wedding dates of 2018.
Eat, Drink, and be MOO-rried
Weddings, especially on a working dairy farm, take a lot of organization, coordinating, and planning. Luckily for me, growing up on a dairy farm, I’ve had lots of practice. Having these skills is making it easier to organize my wedding… Because just like farming:
- There’s a to-do list. I'm used to keeping a list of to-do's. At the farm, Dad would always give us a list of projects to complete for the day. So, for my wedding I have a list of everything that needs to be done and by what date.
- Go with the flow. We can’t control the weather but, when it comes to farming, we still plant our fields. I have that mind-set when planning our wedding day. Something is bound not to go right, but I'll still get married.
- Have fun and create memories. Some of my best memories are of working on the farm with my sisters. I’ve applied that to wedding planning. My sisters are helping me with planning. I realize, soon it will all be over. Another memory for my collection. So, I’m just enjoying this time.
Overall, I'm excited to celebrate my and Chris's big day on the land where I grew up, while enjoying products my family has produced. Because, yes, there will be dairy at my wedding; we are having a soft serve ice cream machine, chocolate milk, 3 cheese lasagna, cheese trays, just to name a few dairy products. Who knows maybe a cow will even make an appearance?!?!
American Dairy Association North East is one of 19 state and regional promotion organizations working under the umbrella of the United Dairy Industry Association. It is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council®, which has been conducting nutrition education and nutrition research programs since 1915. For more information, visit www.americandairy.com.
Created in partnership by the National Football League and National Dairy Council, which was founded by America’s dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fuel Up to Play 60 is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program and creates real transformational change in more than 73,000 schools. Learn more at www.FuelUpToPlay60.com.