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Kentucky Color - Dairy Farmer's Plight

"Right now, Dairy Farmers are faced with 1970's prices for their milk and 2018 operational expenses. They will weather this storm like they have weathered so many storms before but they need our support and encouragement." - BILLY JOE FUDGE
Click on headline for complete commentary with poem, "Rubber Boots," written in honor of dairy farmers everywhere, but especially on Sparks Ridge, Adair County, KY

By Billy Joe Fudge, President, Homeplace on Green River

My Dad was a Dairy Farmer for most of his adult life and he and I farmed together during my youth the first 20 years of my employment with the Kentucky Division of Forestry.

I know what a rewarding life dairy farming is and also, when milk prices are low, what a horror it can be to work from 4 AM to 10 PM seven days a week while losing hundreds of dollars a week for months and months!

Dairy farming is neither for the faint of heart nor for the mediocre nor for the weak. Dairy farming is for the brave, the committed and the strong.

Right now, Dairy Farmers are faced with 1970's prices for their milk and 2018 operational expenses. They will weather this storm like they have weathered so many storms before but they need our support and encouragement.

Join me in showing your support for our friends and neighbors who are putting milk, butter, cheese and so much more on our tables during this time of struggle.

"Rubber Boots" is a poem I wrote several years ago and I wanted to share it at this time to show my support for our friends and neighbors who are presently struggling mightily.

By Billy Joe Fudge

The clock reads four AM,
Rubber boots set by the door.
Coffee, the only prelude to
Silent feet upon the floor.

Outside, silos, concrete monuments
Stretch toward reddened sky.
Security lights begin to dim
As cattle groan and blow nearby.

The day, now placid and calm
Will soon erupt into song.
A tune played over and over
On days that are hot or cold and long.

Then the serenity is ruptured
By vacuum pumps, bawling calves and coughing.
Each "old friend" communicates by
Standing still, swishing tail or stomping.

Summer days filled with seed,
Fertilizer, diesel fuel, sweat and dust.
Filled with paper work, silage,
Tractors, hay and sometimes disgust.

Wintertime is dark, long and cold.
Its drop cords, starting fluid and ice.
There's frozen pipes, swollen udders,
Mud and darting, big eyed field mice.

Yet, thank God, there's peace,
Purpose and eating out on Friday night.
Church, little league, friends
And baby calves-what a sight!

A wholesome life of Rook parties,
Neighbors and cokes at country stores,
Seminars, deer and quail and
Short vacations on distant shores.

Now the clock reads 10 PM,
Rubber boots set by the door.
Only two things that can be heard-
An I love you, and a snore.

This story was posted on 2018-05-23 06:43:12
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