Milking Classes

For a few years we have had people come out and learn to milk on our homestead. Many of them said, “You have to teach a class!” I always laughed and put it in the back of my head as another one of those “someday” things.

Then, last year, I had 4 people contact me in a week, all wanting to come out to the farm and watch the milking in process. That was it. It was time. So, we started up classes.

Today marks the one year anniversary of our monthly milking classes taught on this farm. Everyone of them, each special in its own way, has been a success.

Some of the things we teach in the class are cow and goat 101, housing, feed, care, meds, sickness and treatments and handling of milk. Then we get hands on and milk. Each person taking the class gets to participate and it’s awesome!

Today I was especially proud of my newest little milk doe, Dolly. It was her first time to be on the stand and teach people how to milk. She did wonderfully! She never lifted a leg. She kinda looked at me like, “What’s up Mom?” but that was it.

I feel that at the end of a three-hour class future dairy stock owners are empowered to own a dairy animal of their own and are given a leg up in making the right choices and being prepared for everything it will take to care for these homestead gifts, giving them the best life they can have.

So, I have to share this crazy, random, ridiculous dream I had with ya’ll the night before last. I often dream in bits and pieces, and none of it ever really makes sense the next morning, but I woke up in a cold sweat after this one, reaching for a pen and pad to make to-do lists to be sure I had everything in order.

Here it goes:

It was Saturday morning, about 8:30 a.m., thirty minutes before milking class started. The first students had come early and I was out in the front yard talking with them. Suddenly I looked down to find I was still in my PJ’s. I was throughly embarrassed and ask if they would excuse me so I could get dressed.

I went in the bathroom, only to find that in the rush of getting everything ready for the class, I had been too busy to finish washing clothes, and all my clothes were in the washer, still wet. I had nothing to wear. I had a complete freak out session which seemed to go on for an eternity, were I could hear more and more students pulling up and talking in the yard. Finally, I just put on my wet clothes and went out to meet everyone.

I get outside to find my Aunt, (who is close to seventy and quite colorful), has taken over my class and is teaching everyone about tractor implements, (although she has absolutely NO idea what she’s talking about and is making no sense whats so ever).

I walk up and apologize to everyone for being so late. No one was nice to me. No one said they have had days like that. No one gave me looks of pity because of my sopping wet clothes that hung sadly on my body. No. They all just glared and two old men, in particular, were very rude, saying they couldn’t believe how unprofessional I was and they wanted the class for free.

On the verge of tears, we begin walking towards the barn, as we approach, I realize that we are missing one of the ladies from the group. I scan the surrounding area and suddenly see her shoes sticking out from under the chicken coop. We rush over to her and she’s screaming “I’m Stuck! I’m Stuck!” So, we all grab hold of her legs and pull and pull. Finally, she pops out all covered in chicken poo. I ask “Why did you climb under there?!” She says “I wanted to see what it looked like from the inside.”

And then my dream ended.

Can I just say that each and every one of these classes I have loved teaching, but todays students I especially love! You were all wonderful, excited, and forgiving, and non of you climbed under my chicken coop!


8 thoughts on “Milking Classes

  1. Enjoyed the milking class today and getting to know you and your farm! We are not nearly ready yet (no fences) for livestock, but it gave me a lot of food for thought, for sure.

  2. […] I signed up to dip my toes in the water (or milk) of livestock ownership, by taking a milking class at Star Creek Farm in a town about an hour from us. As I drove there this morning, through the gorgeous Hill Country […]

      1. Thanks! Sure. No problem! I don’t always write about homesteading-type stuff (hence the name Free Range — I write about all kinds of stuff), but it is definitely a big interest.

  3. As always, it is so energizing and inspirational to see the amazing organic/raw milk program you’ve established. Am I totally overwhelmed to try something like this myself? HECK YES! But honestly, coming to your farm makes me feel like it’s possible! Thanks so much for sharing your animals and farm!

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