Joey’s Back!

(For those of you that are not subscribers to our local newspaper, here’s today’s column.)

Joey’s back!

No, not the Joey that lives in Brookings, SD, is learning all about being a great dairy-farm manager and drives a grey Pontiac Grand Prix.

I am talking about the Joey that lives out in our heifer barn with all the other pregnant heifers and cows. (Tarah, one of our employees calls our heifers “teenagers,” because they are smaller in size, compared to a cow and haven’t had their first calf.)

I was so excited the other day when Steve and I were walking around the heifers; looking at how they were faring in the blasted cold. (Isn’t this current weather glorious?)

“Joey’s back!” I yelled.

Steve never answered me, but that is not anything unusual around here.

This heifer named Joey was born on the human Joey’s birthday – April 15, 2012.

I know her birthdate because we named her Joey, rather tagging her with an identification like Deduction, Depreciation or We Owe What!

Talk about getting harassed because you have a different kind of name.

Anyway, I also know the year of her birth because for two years she has been living on a farm just northwest of Nicollet.

More than two years ago, the Hulkes came and took Hairy Joey (I’ll call her Hairy Joey because she has hair and it avoids not being politically correct. I don’t think White Joey or Black Joey would be good, although it would be very accurate, because Hairy Joey is a Holstein.)

The Hulkes take our girl calves when they are about one week old.

Steve and I started this several years ago, before we had a full-time herdsman. We were unable to take care of all our heifers the way they should be. A really good dairy farmer will spend the time observing his heifers to see if any of them need to be artificially inseminated that particular day. To have an accurate observation, it is recommended that a dairy farmer observe animals for at least a half hour each day.

We were having a hard time finding that half hour.

The Hulkes only raise heifers for us, and several other dairy farmers. So they have the time to keep an eye on them.

The Hulkes do a much better job than Steve or I ever did.

I am not sure when the Hulkes brought Hairy Joey back, but I couldn’t have been more excited. I took a photo of her with my phone and sent it off to Joey in Brookings.

He never responded.

I guess he isn’t as thrilled as I am.

Also returning to our farm with Hairy Joey was M.

Just from her name I know that her mother was Bond, may she rest in peace.

Bond was named just after she had her first calf. For some reason, and I am grinning now because it was so cute, she would sneak back into the exit area and spy on whomever was in the milking parlor.

A lot of times, all a person would see was the eyes on Bond’s head as she sneakily peered around the corner of the wall – kind of like James Bond when he’s trying to run and tumble through a maze of rooms and hallways to get to some sort of treasure.

On a side note, my favorite Bond is not the cow, it’s Daniel Craig.

I would talk sweet to Bond (We’re back to the cow now, although I would talk sweet to the human Bond too.) to get her to come back in and visit, but she never would.

So naturally, when Bond had her calf, I named her after another of my favorite characters in James Bond movies – M.

On another side not, my favorite M was Judy Dench. She has now been snuffed out of the James Bond movies – may she rest in peace. I mean M here, not Ms. Dench.

It’s always fun to have a group of heifers brought back to the farm by the Hulkes. You never know who is going to turn around and surprise you when you get to see the name printed on her ear tag.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at




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