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Follow organic dairy farmer Jonathan Gates as he reports weekly from his Vermont family farm. Howmars Farm is a certified organic dairy farm, one of many Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative farmer members who supply the milk that goes into making Stonyfield's yogurts and smoothies. The entire family pitches in on this third-generation farm. Check out some of the happenings on his farm and post your comments. Jonathan loves to get feedback from readers.

The farm help goes back to school

Tuesday was back-to-school day for all the boys. Son Ben is a sophmore, Justin is a 4th grader, and now Noah's in kindergarten,and they're all off to school!This means a big change in our daily routine here at the farm. All summer the boys were pitching in to help with the chores morning and afternoon, but now that will happen only on weekends, vacations, and after school, when there isn't practice for something.

Karen and I will pick up most of the slack, taking care of the fencing for the cows and the feeding and watering of the turkeys and chickens. Ben took care of those things almost every day through the summer. In the morning it will mean we will get done 30-45 minutes later than what we had been. It makes us appreciate the help our boys give us. My herd clinic vet, Dr. Steve, has had farmer clients that he felt almost went through a period of depression at the start of school when their sons or daughters went back to school leaving them with more work to do. While we get used to the back-to-school routine, I just keep reminding myself not to get too worked up about what needs to be done around the farm. I try to prioritize what needs to be done first, knowing that everything will get done and situations will always work themselves out.

--Jonathan, Howmars Farm
Franklin, Vermont

Who won the Stonyfield Farm women's presidential election? Find out over in our Strong Women Daily News today.


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It is refreshing to see that you are rasing your children with the ethic of working on the farm. It is uncommon in this day and age. Blessings to you all.

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