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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 kids have "fun" with Aunt Patty

AuntPatty1.JPGAuntPatty3.JPG

It's always nice when all the family is here visiting over the holidays. Catching up on the news, sharing meals, and playing together is always great fun. My older sister, Patty, usually manages to motivate the kids into doing some kind of farmwork. Today it was cleaning calf pens with my son, Justin, and his cousin, Zach. Noah was laying low due to a bout with pneumonia, so the three amigos were operating one short today.

Justin and Zach grumbled quite a bit, but they did as their aunt asked. Justin thought that if he cleaned pens that he should get out of doing regular young stock chores later that afternoon. He's always looking to make a deal. I checked in on them once. They were doing well, but had a little trouble moving the calves back into their pens once they were cleaned. At one point, one of the calves ducked between Justin and Zach and took off on a run around the young stock barn. She was quickly corraled and put back where she belonged.

Later, Patty said the boys had done a great job. They worked really well once they got started on the project. Now let's see.....what else do I need done?...

--Jonathan, Howmars Farm
Franklin, Vermont



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