Attention to Detail and Changing Jobs



Twine threading through my New Holland square baler.  We remove the last bale from the baler at the finish of haying season and have to rethread the twines at the beginning of the next.  It doesn’t work unless its exactly like this, so I took this photo so I could remember, and save myself some frustration.

If I had to square bale every day I’m sure I would come to dread the job.  But because we only do it a few days a summer, its actually exciting.  We round bale a lot more.

Changing jobs frequently suits me well.  Even menial labor can be pleasant if it doesn’t consume the whole day.  This is one of the reasons I love farming.  Often, my body is engaged in menial labor while my mind is busy working on a more difficult problem.

A new customer asked about the treatment of our animals from our farm to slaughter.  I’m confident our animals are among the most humanely raised on the planet.  We look at each species and strive to give them what they want: Pigs root, Cows graze in a herd, Chickens forage for bugs, etc.

And I deliver to our butcher and walk them all the way to the kill floor.  I don’t stay to see them killed, but Avon wouldn’t have a problem having me stay as they kill as humanely as possible.  I’m much more concerned with a slick walkway than with Avon’s slaughter technique, as hogs and cattle don’t understand they’re about to be slaughtered, but they definitely experience fear if they don’t have secure footing.

Another reason I like Avon is they’re changing jobs throughout the week just like my farming.  They only kill animals a couple of mornings a week.  The rest of the week they’re cutting up animals, or curing meat, or dealing with customers.  Unlike threading my square baler once a year, Avon is doing jobs every week, staying proficient, yet changing jobs every day to keep things fresh.

UPDATE: Taking orders for delivery every other Saturday to Madison. Next date September 5th.  Email Matthew with order and/or questions: Thank you!


2 Responses to Attention to Detail and Changing Jobs

  1. Anonymous says:

    It seems like you would already be quite familiar with Temple Grandin and her ideas about humane slaughter.

    If anyone reading your blog and this comment is not, there is a section in the Wikipedia article about her which begins this way:

    “In 1980 Grandin published her first two scientific articles on beef
    cattle behavior during handling: “Livestock Behavior as Related to
    Handling Facilities Design” in the International Journal for the
    Study of Animal Problems, Vol. 1, pp. 33-52 and “Observations of
    Cattle Behavior Applied to the Design of Cattle Handling Facilities”,
    Applied Animal Ethology, Vol. 6, pp. 19-31.”

    Her idea about the winding, and narrowing, entry into which the cattle walk, one by one, made a big difference. Probably there are many other good ideas.

    • Yes, I’ve learned a lot from Temple Grandin. Read her books and even had the chance to hear her speak. She’s probably improved the treatment of animals, especially farm animals at slaughter, more than anyone in the history of the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: