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Student Newspaper of Derry Area High School

The Station

The Station

The Station

Life on a Farm

I always welcome questions about farm life and the world I’ve grown up in.

Living on a farm in Blairsville has been an incredible experience for me as a farmer. It’s fascinating to observe the daily routine of a farmer, and I often find myself fielding questions about farm life.

I always cherish the moment of bringing a new cow and calf back to the main farm using the side-by-side and calf cart. Welcoming a new addition to the farm is a heartwarming experience for me. I get to meet each calf, appreciate their unique patterns, and even come up with names for them.

Explaining the process of transporting calves may be a bit of a challenge, but it’s a topic I enjoy discussing.

Repatriation (pronounced Ree-pey-tree-ey-shuhn) is the process of bringing a ‘fresh’ cow to the milking facility after her time as a ‘dry’ cow. It involves relocating her and her calf from the dry group to the milking group. Once we reunite them with the milking cows, we make sure to identify the baby and the mother. Calves receive tags with their mother’s name and birth date. If the calf is female, we also give her a name. For the males, they get tagged as a steer or a bull.

Both the dry and milking groups are given access to a set of pastures that rotate every few days. However, deciding when to switch pastures can be a bit of a puzzle.

I usually assess the grass in a field near their current one. Cows don’t consume everything in the pasture, so we estimate that they’ll genuinely eat about half of what’s visible.

But farm routines aren’t always easy, especially on hot days when the cows decide to be a bit stubborn.

When the cows stray, we hop on quads and side-by-sides, armed with fence posts and wire, and head to their last known location. Sometimes, they cooperate and return to where they should be, while other times they seem to enjoy a game of chase. Either way, once we get them back to their rightful pasture, we mend the fence or set up a temporary one until we have more time to make proper repairs.

One question I’m frequently asked is about my plans after high school and whether I’ll continue farming.

I’m uncertain if I’ll pursue farming after high school. When I consider my future job prospects, I hope to be available to assist my dad whenever he needs me. Farming is something I enjoy, especially during the summer and when I return home from school. 

Farming is a unique experience that not everyone gets to be a part of, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. 

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About the Contributor
Brylea Borbonus
Brylea Borbonus, Staff Writer
Brylea is a Junior and first-year writer for the Station. She helps her father with farm work such as mowing and raking fields and moving bales from areas to the farm. She is a two-year member of her church's bell choir and a one-year Deacons member. When she isn't working or at church, she is helping her family or listening to music. She loves watching Marvel and Star Wars movies, listens to Faun and country music, and helping set up Sunday dinner at her grandma's.

Comments (4)

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  • D

    Dianna MessengerOct 14, 2023 at 5:56 am

    Great job! Love seeing the farm through your eyes!

  • S

    Sandy lee DuffeyOct 11, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    Very nicely written, your are a true farmer.

  • M

    M@Oct 11, 2023 at 10:36 am


    • K

      Kathleen CardellinoOct 11, 2023 at 7:37 pm

      Awesome. Proud of you!