We held our official groundbreaking ceremony this past Saturday so we could include as much family as possible, as it was in conjunction with Dan's Grandpa Pete's 80th birthday! We had grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins from every generation join us! Although cloudy and windy (really, it's almost always windy on our hill), the rain stayed away and it wasn't too muddy!
Dan's dad, Dave, kicked off the ceremony by noting that he hadn't ridden up the "dead road", now our driveway/lane in a car since he was a little boy with his grandpa. It's been dead a long time! After welcoming everyone he handed the megaphone (the electricity hasn't made it yet) to his dad, Neil, to share a bit of history.
Dan's grandpa Neil shared that after Dan's great-grandpa had rented the land that we're building on for a few years, the owners eventually asked if he would consider purchasing it. Great-Grandpa Adlai purchased all 40 acres for only $2000 and paid it off in only 2 years with the crops he grew on it - times have certainly changed! Although the 40 acres we're building on isn't part of the originally Bolin farm, it's been in the family for quite awhile and is adjacent to the original farm. Grandpa Neil also mentioned that the 40 acres that the building site is on was some of the first land in our county to be contour farmed, the practice of tilling sloped land along lines of consistent elevation in order to conserve rainwater and to reduce soil losses from surface erosion. Apparently our family has always been early adopters of new practices.
Dan was up next on the program. He shared that although he's been and lived around the world he's confident that this is the place we are to actually "do" dairying for the coming years. We also picked a theme scripture for the farm that he shared, Lamentations 3:21-27.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.
Then it was time for the big countdown to groundbreaking, which our family crowd helped us with. As you can see, we had some fun! Those digging dirt were myself (Lynn), Dan's dad, Dave, Dan's two grandpas - Neil & Pete, and Dan. Although we may be spearheading this big project, these men (and their wives!) have been and are very important to the dairy farm! It is just as much their project as it is our project!
To wrap up the ceremony after digging some dirt Grandpa Pete shared that a good friend's wife once told him, "Pete, you're not smart enough to ever have been as successful as you are in farming, but for the Good Lord's help." Pete agreed that God's been good to him over the years and he couldn't have made it without God in all that he did. He noted that our new dairy farm won't make it unless God is part of everything we do, which we hopefully He is! (Grandpa Pete is actually one of the wisest men we know, but we do agree that we need God's help no matter how smart we are!)
Dan especially appreciated that he shared Psalm 115:1, which was in the running for verses he wanted to pick as New Day Dairy's theme verse.
"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!"
This is our prayer in all that we do: not that we get the glory, but that God's name would be made Great through all we do!
To finish off the ceremony, Grandpa Pete prayed for the dairy farm and building process
and we appreciate your prayers as well!
To commemorate groundbreaking we had everyone in attendance sign a shovel. We plan to use this so we can look back on this day and the start of New Day Dairy and be reminded that we have an amazing family around us that are cheering us on!
Did you notice that these are some great pictures? That's because Dan's cousin, Morgan, and her husband, Josh, took them for us and they do photos & videos... check Chitwood Media out!
And thanks to everyone who shared and liked our Facebook page, we made it to 200 likes, which means we'll be having a Name That Calf contest coming up on Facebook next Wednesday, so look for it! And be thinking of names that begin with W, Z, and V as those are the cows or heifers who will be having calves soon!
Things really got going this week as you'll see below. It's amazing how fast things can happen!
Excavation on the barn's foundation walls started early in the week. Now that Dan has a smartphone he's able to take pictures to show you all! And if you're on twitter, now he (and New Day Dairy) is too! Follow him!
The culverts were set into place and began to get buried and built up over! Soon our main entrance will be open!
By Thursday the concrete crew arrived and to our surprise (although not to the concrete guys) we even had one cement truck show up to pour the first foundation walls! It's only the south-west corner and there's a lot more to go but even though Friday ended up being a rain day, this week looks like perfect weather! That means there should be a lot of exciting pictures this week, keep your eye out on Twitter or Facebook!
Dan's still working hard to get all the details worked out and is trying to make sure he's communicating to everyone how he wants things done, which means late nights, often at the computer! I don't think he ever stayed up late studying in college but it's a reality now to keep things moving along!
We also enjoy getting to visit him at the farm in the afternoon and evenings to help with chores and spend time with him. Yeah for spring weather! This past week we rode along to unload the manure, or "pies" as Miss Muffet calls them, on our fields. So glad we can spend some time with him this way!
And last, but certainly not least as it will get it's own post later this week, we held our official groundbreaking ceremony while family was in town for Dan's grandpa's 80th birthday! So thankful so many could be there to celebrate with us!
Well we don't have a lot of exciting pictures this week and I'm a little tardy is getting it posted since the new week has started! Most of the visible work that was done this week was digging out from the area where we'll build the manure storage facility and then using that rock to build up the area around the culverts.
We finally had some nice burning weather and Dan & my dad were able to begin burning our big brush pile! Dan also had meetings with both the concrete contractor and the electrician & REC to keep getting things set up and moving along.
Since my mom was here visiting we had some fun (and I had some extra hands to help with the kids). We visited Waterloo to pick out our plumbing fixtures, or at least get a good start on it. Miss Muffet (and my mom!) got a surprise after Miss Muffet had "bathed" in a variety of tubs & showers in the showroom that one she tried actually had water come out of it... good thing we carry an spare set of clothes!
And Dan now has a smartphone, so hopefully that means you'll get even more updates and pictures as things progress, as well as helping Dan stay connected during the building process and using it to manage the farm when we're up and running!
Family... we love ours! We couldn't be here without them - the generations that have built a strong foundation for us. Then there's the future generations - our kids and our nieces and nephews. Although young they haven't missed that a big project is happening!
Our kids obviously have seen and heard us talking, planning, designing, researching, sketching, and working and if you ask Miss Muffet she'll tell you all about cows, calves, Holstein Conferences, and our new barn - from her perspective of course!
Our nephews have gotten into planning too! Dan has an older & a younger brother, living in Florida and Minnesota respectively, and although they're happily employed in the careers of their choices, farming is still a family affair. Dan calls with a question or two and it's usually a discussion at family gatherings. We're so thankful for their support!
And so, those nephews.... we've been sent a couple pictures of their ideas for the new barn over the past few months! Work & play are commonly integrated when you're a child from a farming family! Do you or your kids have any ideas for the new barn and farmstead? Send us a picture!
Well here we are at the beginning of another week and a bit more progress has been made. Well, really a lot of progress has been made but a lot of it is still just Dan talking on the phone, sending e-mails, researching, and drawing up plans, which isn't very photo-worthy!
Dan's Grandpa Pete has spent a lot of time clearing trees and shrubs from the fence line to make way for electricity, septic, well drilling, and building trucks, lifts, and more. Grandma Mary says he's having a lot of fun and it's making seem a lot younger than his almost 80 years! Yesterday when we visited he was just heading out and Miss Muffet got a slow ride in his "fancy" skid loader (she only gets to ride because it's fancy and has an enclosed cab). As you can tell this was pretty exciting!
We've had more visitors out to the site this week, some for business and some family. And everyone's a bit curious around town; people always ask how things are going. I don't mind, as that is part of the culture that is shared between small town Iowa and rural Turkey, everyone has a little idea (or thinks they do!) of what's going on in everyone else's life! We're having local businesses do what they can on the project and the bedrock on the road was pretty dramatic, so in a small town a lot of people have heard and are curious! We're thankful for our great small town community, so we don't mind at all and hope they'll all come visit when we have our Open House!
Work continued this week on the main entrance, coming in from the north with more preparation for putting the culverts in. Soon we'll have our main entrance done!
The top soil was scrapped off the barn building site for building preparation, so now it's a lot more obvious where the barn is going to be. The guest house space seems so small next to the large scale of the barn building!
My parent's were here this weekend to celebrate Buddy Boy's 2nd birthday and we toured the site. Digging through the limestone that has been dug up in the manure storage area Dan found a few fossils!
As springtime often brings, we had another baby heifer calf at the current farm this week. This one's name is NewDay, very fitting for our new adventure! What would you name a calf? When we reach 200 likes on our Facebook page we'll be holding a calf naming contest!
Growing up a city-girl, after marrying my dairy farmer husband and spending a few years abroad, we came home to expand the family dairy farm and want to share our journey & farm life with you!