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Spring brings hope

Published on 28 February 2014
It has been a long, hard winter. Many could argue that is the nature of the season – to which I’d agree – but in my book, these last few months seemed to take it a bit further than usual.

For the first time in my life, I not only heard about a polar vortex, but I got to experience it twice. I also came to realize that “January thaw” doesn’t necessarily equate to a stretch of time above freezing. It might just mean that temperatures slightly below 0°C with no wind is reprieve enough from the harsh conditions.

The effects of cabin fever have settled into my household. I write this just hours after confiscating a board my older daughter had obtained. She was wearing her bike helmet and planning to use the board as a sled on the stairs.

After I nixed that idea, she proposed using it as a diving board instead. Needless to say, the board is now out of reach. My younger daughter, who has just started to form a vocabulary in the last month, now refers to all footwear as “boot” because that is her only option when leaving the house.

But, of course, who am I to tell you about my trivial hardships of the season? I have the luxury of writing this piece from my office as the space heater hums in the background.



It is you who has endured the weather each and every day to look after the animals entrusted to your care, making sure they are well bedded and well fed. You were the one who had to fix the frozen pipes on the coldest day of the season or sit atop the barn cleaner with a hammer and chisel in hopes of breaking away enough frozen manure to get it to run for another day.

For that and more, I thank you and commend your dedication to a trade that is not for the faint of heart.

Luckily, we are turning the calendar into March, where the announcement of the first day of spring is a visual reminder of better days to come. It will warm up because it always does. How soon exactly will depend on which groundhog forecast you believe, and more importantly, the will of Mother Nature.

When the snow melts, the earth will be tilled and fresh seeds planted. Perennial crops will thaw and begin to sprout. Soon we will have forgotten winter and become focused on the busyness that comes with warm weather and cropping season.

Hopefully you’ve been able to take advantage of a heated shop or had the time last fall to service your equipment so that it is ready to roll when you are this spring.

Take the time now to finish up the last of your indoor jobs. Read through your latest issue of Progressive Dairyman, for soon you’ll be abandoning your seat by the fire for the seat on the tractor.

Here’s to the hopes of a warm and productive spring. Happy planting to one and all.  PD

Karen Lee
Karen Lee
Progressive Dairyman magazine