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Pulling Fawn out of the Mud

The rain is causing havoc for us . . . as for many farmers.

The pasture ground is soft, so the cows are limited to a small area so they don't step up the sod or fall and get hurt.

In fact, while doing chores a week ago, Bill and Aidan came upon Fawn, one of our Jersey cows who got stuck in the mud sometime during the night. Freeing a 1500-pound animal sunk up to her chest in mud was a challenge.

They tried to dig her out with shovels, but the mud slid back in as fast as they scooped it out. The ground around her was too soft for the heavy tractor, so the guys kept it on higher ground and connected it to our lighter 4-wheeler with a chain. Then they put a winch on the 4-wheeler and connected that to Fawn's halter to pull her out.

Bill was hesitant, though, as her legs could break depending on how they were positioned in the mud -- which he couldn't determine since she was in so deep. Because Fawn was cold and shaking, they

felt urgency to get her out and went ahead.

They pulled slowly, and her neck stretched. It looked like she might start coming out, but the halter on her head broke! They put the rope around her neck and pulled even more slowly. They pulled a little, then stopped to check on her, then pulled again. It was a slow process, but finally they were able to release her from the suction and get her to more solid ground.

They held their breath as they waited for Fawn to stand. After a few minutes, she gathered herself and shakily got to her feet!

Bill, Aidan, and Fawn were all covered in mud, but the relief was palpable as she walked over to join the other cows, seemingly none the worse for the wear.

All the rain makes driving around the saturated fields tricky because getting stuck is so easy. Mold devastated our fall broccoli harvest, and the late-ripening peppers could really use a couple of sunny days which they probably won't get. The usual fall task of spreading compost on the fields is on hold as is the planting of more winter and spring crops?

Right now we worry about getting through this season and whether or not we'll be ready for the next one.

And looking farther out - what does all this water mean for winter? And what about next summer - will it also be extremely wet? Will it be as hot? Or hotter? Each summer for the last several years has had more 95-degree days than ever before.

The conservative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released a report that shows a dire outlook. It concludes that it'simperative the population of the world makes significant changesimmediately to prevent severe consequences to our future on this planet.

As we get closer to the November election, the extreme weather we've been experiencing weighs heavily on Bill and me. We feel the only responsible choice for the future of our farm, for the future of our food supply, for the future of anything and everything is to vote for candidates who not only recognize climate change but who actively supporting measures to

combat it.

So while we continue to do our best to keep our animals safe and to plant, tend, and harvest our crops, we'll also volunteer in local, state, and national campaigns to try to make change.

I realize farmers complaining about weather is nothing new, but farmers are on the front line of climate change. We're experiencing the nuance of the effects first, and it's important for us to take note of the changes and

to report them.

Change is happening.

We hope everyone is getting involved to the best of their ability. None of us can afford to sit back and wait for others do the work.

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