Friday, November 16, 2012

Missouri Farm Girl Deena Aaron

Today we welcome Deena Aaron from Lipstick, Camouflage and Farm Life as she shares with us her adventures of Missouri farm life! 

My story is about being a Missouri farm girl and loving every minute of it. My husband Richard takes care of the family farm with his 90 year old father at his side. The farm has been in my husband’s family for about 100 years and consists of 600 acres. From the time Richard’s grandfather bought a small piece of ground and slowly added other small parcels as they became available, there have always been cattle here. We now have around 100 cows and calves and Richard and I have another 80 acres where we live about 15 miles away which is my family farm where my Dad lived and where my Mother still lives. We run three bulls, moving them back and forth, a registered Black Angus, a registered Beef Master, and our newest bull just bought last month, a 10 month old registered Hereford.

If someone had told me 20 years, even 10 years ago that I would be this involved with raising cattle I would have never believed it. But you will now see me out nearly every night checking cattle on the four-wheeler when my husband can’t. We both still work full time, I am a Senior Secretary at the University of Science and Technology in Rolla Missouri and Richard runs his own business - Aaron’s Archery which he has owned since 1980. It is next door to our home which makes it convenient for him. On top of working full time I also do professional photography. 

As all cattle owners know there is always something to be done on a farm - fence to fix, hay to bale, tractors and equipment to be fixed, always something so we are always busy. Oh yes, and it seems pretty much always cows where they are not supposed to be. On top of all the cattle I have three sheep that come running when they see or hear me. Now that’s a funny story - mama sheep showed up as a stray sheep, I have always taken in stray cats and dogs, but stray sheep!! Really I’m telling the truth. Well after she had been there about a month I thought she was looking pretty fat and one morning I had left for work and Richard called me and said you might want to come back home and see what we have. She had twins and of course they are all here to stay. It took me several months to gain her trust and now they all three love me. She took the babies and ran off once and we looked and worried about them but she finally came back. I guess she didn’t like me locking them in the barn every night but they were so little I was worried something would happen to them. 

All of the property has been cross fenced since Richard started overseeing the farm. This year we had a drought as a lot of other people did so we have bought hay out of Northeast Missouri and had it trucked in. This has never happened before in our 28 years of marriage but no rain means no pasture like we usually have. We have worried and had a lot of sleepless nights figuring out what to do.

Baby O was the first calf born on our 80 acres and was very little, although her mom whom we call “Big O” is a big cow but Baby O was very weak. We found ourselves out in the field at 10:00 pm giving her a bottle. Now we probably worry more than we need to and are too over protective but we haven’t lost one calf at our place yet. By the way, Big O gave birth this spring to twins, which I will share later. Having said all that Baby O is now a momma and of course she had her baby in March when it was very cold and she had trouble. 

We were at the barn, got her in the head gate, Richard had his arm inside and had ahold of one of the hooves when she got loose, he lost his grip and I had to climb the corral to get away from her. That scared the heck out of me. That was my first time that a cow tried to hurt me. She just knew she was hurting and I guess thought it was our fault. We got her back in the head gate and finally Richard pulled her calf and he was a big one and both front feet were turned under so he made some braces and duct taped them on until the little guy could stand up and he is thriving and growing up like a weed. That was the second time Baby O beat the odds, she would have surely died and the calf too. The full story is on my blog. 

I also am in the process of writing a series of children’s books about our dog “Jake the Farm Dog” and am looking for someone to illustrate and publish my books. They are quite entertaining as Jake and his friend Bear get into a lot of mischief over their girlfriend “Lipstick”. More to come on that. I hope you have enjoyed our story and I have many more to tell. For instance I will just put this picture on and tell you this is Lucky Girl and we raised her on a bottle and now she is going to have a baby of her own. I’m sure when that happens it will be quite the occasion. Maybe we will have a “calf shower”. 

 By the way I am an avid Turkey Hunter and just had my picture and article published in the National Wildlife Turkey Federation “Turkey Country” October issue in “Women in the Outdoors” and have also been featured in the magazine Living the Country Life. 

 If you like my stories you can join my blog for more of my life as a Missouri Farm Girl!!

Thanks for sharing your story Deena! Be sure to visit her blog and twitter to learn more!  

If you or someone you know would like to be the next Face of Agriculture please contact us today, we need YOUR story!