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Cows Are out!: Two Decades on a Maine Dairy Farm

Overview


In this bittersweet memoir of two decades of dairy farming, Trudy Chambers Price writes of the daily trials of haying, cow breeding, and milking against a backdrop of gentle and entertaining rural life. The work was never-ending and exhausting, but also exhilarating and rewarding. She introduces kind neighbors, eccentric neighbors, visiting city folk, and loveable pets. The Cows Are Out! is a tribute to hard-working family farmers and to an important part of the nation's ...
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Overview


In this bittersweet memoir of two decades of dairy farming, Trudy Chambers Price writes of the daily trials of haying, cow breeding, and milking against a backdrop of gentle and entertaining rural life. The work was never-ending and exhausting, but also exhilarating and rewarding. She introduces kind neighbors, eccentric neighbors, visiting city folk, and loveable pets. The Cows Are Out! is a tribute to hard-working family farmers and to an important part of the nation's historical and cultural heritage.
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What People Are Saying

Peter Scott
"Trudy Price's clean and lively prose make The Cows Are Out! both a vivid description of a dairy farm in rural Maine, 'where time flies like the wind across the fields,' and a pure pleasure to read."--(Peter Scott, author of Something in the Water)
Howard Frank Mosher
"The Cows Are Out! is all kinds of fun to read. This heartfelt memoir is full of interesting, gritty details of that most-endangered of traditional New England enterprises - the family dairy farm."--(Howard Frank Mosher, author of North Country)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780967166292
  • Publisher: Islandport Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 226
  • Sales rank: 1,394,874
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author


Trudy Chambers Price was born in Island Falls, Maine, and grew up in the Aroostook County town of Caribou. Her family has lived in the county for more than five generations. She was one of three children, and like most county youths, she earned money by picking potatoes, starting at age ten and working for twenty-five cents a barrel. In 1966, she and her husband purchased a 150-acre dairy farm where they worked together for the next twenty-three years. The Cows Are Out! is also the result of that effort, begun on a typewriter in her old farmhouse on Knox Ridge.
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Read an Excerpt

"I wasn't always a morning person. And only former night people can understand how difficult it is to change. Although, if anything can change a night person into a morning person, it's dairy farming.
Ideally, cows should be milked every twelve hours. When we bought our farm, Ron continued the existing routine - milking at four in the morning and three in the afternoon. (Ron's timing varied only slightly depending on the season.) This schedule allowed time for daily work, such as gardening, haying, spreading manure and repairing equipment. It also left time for supper and evening activities. Other farmers have their own schedules. We knew one old-timer who milked his cows at noon and midnight. He was a night person for sure.
I was born into a night family. We stayed up late - reading, studying, watching TV, knitting, sewing or playing cards. Ron was always a morning person and doesn't understand night people, so we had to make many adjustments over the years. In winter, when he arose at three o'clock (as opposed to three-thirty during the summer) to milk the cows, he was happy and often hummed, anticipating the day's activities. Right from the start, I discouraged the humming, as well as turning on the light at that hour. I considered three o'clock the middle of the night, not morning. At 5:00 a.m., I arose grudgingly to feed calves, sweep cribs and wash milking equipment. I didn't speak to anyone for at least an hour, and that was a good thing.
When I agreed to become a farmer, no one mentioned feeding calves at that hour of the morning. I wondered why calves must be fed exactly at five-thirty. It soon became obvious: completing the morning barn chores as soon as possibleleft more time during the day for additional work.
Physically, it didn't take many weeks of this routine to change me into a morning person. I simply had to go to bed early.
I also discovered that starting the day early had its advantages. Soon, I felt cheated if I didn't see the sunrise. It's the most peaceful time of day. The phone has yet to ring, traffic is at a minimum, and the air is usually fresh, cool, and clear. I actually started to converse with the other workers. Rising early kept my bodily functions in sync, toned my muscles and enhanced my appetite. By the time I had worked three or four hours in the barn, I looked forward to breakfast. When I was a night person, I never had an appetite in the morning.
I napped every chance I got, even if it was for only fifteen minutes. I used to think that any nap of less than two hours wasn't worth it. Forget that."
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2006

    A book every 4H young member should read

    This was a fun and learning experience for me. The plight that Dairy Farmers have to climb to survive needs immediate attention or you will not have milk for your cereal. This book should be read by every young 4H club member and any young person. I have learned many things about the Dairy Farm that filled my two days it took to read this book. I loved the book. john d gwazdosky Augusta, Maine

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2009

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