Niall McKenzie is really enjoying his second season on the farm.

12th September 2020

Dear Diary,

The alarm went off this morning at 3.45am, and I was incredibly happy not to get up straight away. It was Saturday, and Delwyn was on farm jobs with me for the weekend. She is currently filling in at a local school for one of the teachers who is about to calve.

We got up, had two coffees each, I had five Weetbix, and Del updated the calving details from the last couple of days and Best on Farm Practice. QCONZ are coming on Tuesday for their annual visit. I wonder what they will moan about this time.

I have really enjoyed spring, especially the beef calves, hardly any going to bobbies – so cute and easy to rear, and a lot more resilient than dairy AB calves. Have you ever looked at LIC’s setup? It’s so like Apple computers’. You have to use their database and software to get the most out of their products.

On today’s positive note I just love being on the farm for the second season, it is so much more cruisey. You know how the infrastructure works and how to fix problems quickly.

Also on the plus side we got another 26 beef calves outside today – I just love seeing them prance around!

13th September

Great start, straight out of bed, one coffee, and on the bike. We had a big morning of waterblasting and cleaning. It doesn’t really need to be noted but Delwyn has higher expectations than me on how things should be!

It takes a while to feed all calves. Got home at 11.15am, put on some different clothes, and went to Wellsford only five minutes away.

Since about 10.30am I had been “running on fumes” on the thought of McDonald’s chocolate thick shake. Unfortunately, it was too popular and I wasn’t going to wait in line, so we ended with kebabs instead. As it was Sunday I focused on having my nanna nap, then worked on Best on Farm Practice.

I had a great run for the afternoon milking – didn’t have to use the bum bar behind eight out of our 14 rows. The cows and heifers must be settling down after calving.

Home now and on one beer and a neck as I write this. I bought a box of Lion Reds today, should last two weeks – “should” being the key performance indicator.

Sad to say I want some more rain – we need it – but I am looking forward to money coming in over the next two months. Our farming company should be back in the black by 1st of November.

I need to start thinking of what I am going to write about for the Dairy Exporter article due in a couple of days. I had the idea of interviewing an important person in the dairy industry and asking them some important questions. I suggested this on Facebook and asked my friends what questions to use. This is what they suggested:

Chris Teal wrote: “Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?

Greg Chaplin: “Why do cows have hooves instead of feet? It is because they lactose.

Chris Ogle-Atkins: “What happens to a cow if it is lactose intolerant?”

The best question was from Carla Preston: “What would a chair look like if your knees bent the other way?”

The Milky Bars are on me.