This was another stop on yesterday's farm tour (which was actually the first and the second of October.... more later).... Knapp Family Farms who are about seven miles from us. This was their first year on the tour, and I have always wanted to see their operation, so I was very glad! Their relatives raise registered Gelbvieh cattle, and they raise hogs.... it was so very interesting learning about their breeding operation, and everything involved. You would NEVER know so much went on on their neat farm, with no "piggy" odor! From the road, you cannot see the operation, believe me.
Here is the sire for the sows this year. He is a young boar, Mr. Knapp got him up so we could see him. You see all the pens were very neat and clean, and I have never driven by there when the one big yard we can see isn't neat and clean. I admire that.
We were allowed to go into the farrowing barn, and they explained the schedule that they follow for breeding each year. It was so interesting to hear about it!
There is one little pig who was awake and watching us through sleepy eyes! If you enlargen the picture, you can see him in the middle.
The mamas have numbers on their backs that correspond with the pens they are in. That way, when they get out to go to the bathroom several times a day, they come back in to the correct pen with their babies.
In front of you, with her back to the camera, was a delightful young lady there with her mommy and daddy, and she got to pet a tiny little pig. He was a delight, too bad they don't stay that tiny!
When we finished seeing the pigs, we were loaded into a haywagon and taken across a just-cut cornfield to the relative's home, with the Gelbvieh herd. I had wanted to see THESE cattle, too, driving by them often.
Gelbvieh come in red and black, like Angus. These were the show heifers, getting ready for the American Royal Livestock show in KCMO this month.
Next to them were two young bulls... a red and a black.
This farm owns, in conjuction with another farm, the junior grand champion Gelbvieh bull from last year's national show. He is not in residence at the moment, but on his way. They breed 95% of their herd by Artificial Insemination, but put the bull in for "cleanup".
I enjoyed this trip very much, and we are going to buy some pork from the Knapps. I just hope I didn't meet any of the hogs!
I leave you with a picture of a dry stone wall, reminicient of Great Britain, but the farm behind it is the farm I had just left, the Henry's. All along their road the farms had these dry stone walls surrounding their fields. What a testimony to the first settlers, who had to lug these stones out of their fields in order to plant or pasture their animals! Some are falling down, but others are in pretty good shape, like this one. I can't think of any other area around here where I have seen so many dry stone walls. These are about thirty miles from where we live, out by Clinton Lake.
I have more pictures of my farm tours, which I will share over the next few days. I DO have a comment to make.
These tours attract people not just from the Kansas City area, but from well outside the area. There was a busload of folks from Salina, and people from different states... probably in the area and decided to go on the tour. They actually fill a bus each year for the tour, and then each stop must have parking for up to 50 cars or so. It is a great chance for the participating farms to get their animals and products out in front of people. Some of these folks regularly go to a farmer's market, some market their beef, pork, chicken, turkeys... some sell vegetables only. Some were straightforwardly hawking their products, some made it an educational experience for adults and for kids. Some are very family-friendly, and some, not so much. What I am trying to say is that is very often the ONLY exposure some of these farms get every year. I noticed that this year some farms had dropped off, and others had come on (the Knapps were new). I have always been treated well on the tour, though I have found some places more interesting than others. I wanted to get to the Iwig Dairy in Tecumseh, but could not get out there yesterday. I talked to a lady today who said everyone was treated royally there, and it was well worth the fifty mile drive.
The tour probably covers a hundred mile area with 25 stops on it.
I spent today, after church and baking for the grands, helping Roxanne, the goat lady down the road from us. She has done this tour for years, and I have pictures taken at her place today. She had so many people there yesterday that she filled her parking and folks had to park in the road. We had a steady stream this afternoon, all the way up until the tour ended at 6 PM.
More pictures tomorrow, and thanks for all the wonderful comments.