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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
    Posts
    5,868

    Default Losing my "help"

    OK need some moral support here! My DH is being called up for active duty, he is in coast guard reserves. He was called up back when Iraq war started but didn't have to deploy overseas. We THINK it is to go to the Gulf for the oil spill, since his specialty is pollution/hazmat, but until he gets actual orders this week won't know. WHen he was called up before we had a 3.85 acre farm and it was tough to handle everything by myself. But now we have a 20 acre farm and I honestly am not sure how I am going to handle it all! He normally handles mowing and other farm "chores" like that. Sorry I am just getting a little freaked out by this, not to mention being alone around here for 60 - 90 days is not exactly what I want! Need a working student this summer I guess, used to have one very summer but never got one last year. Just really makes going to shows etc tough, among other things. Not a happy camper right now!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    4,018

    Default

    I can imagine you are not a happy camper!

    I suspect, though, that after a little while you will figure out how to make it work -- getting that working student, finding someone who can mow for you, even just coming up with a strategy for how to handle things.

    But right now feel free to vent here! (Did you read Bludejavu's thread on feeling overwhelmed? (so you are not alone!) Someone on it suggested finding some horse crazy girls to come help).



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
    Posts
    5,868

    Default

    I know will manage, but was blindsided, was at a show yesterday when I get the call from him that he is called up. Basically will probably get orders monday and have 72 hours to pack up and leave. Not much adjustment time! Yes I chimed in on that thread, I know how she feels!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,377

    Default

    Jingles for you ~ not enough hours in the day over here either !
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
    Posts
    5,868

    Default

    well got the call at 11:15 last night (the government doesn't give a hoot about what time they disrupt our lives!) and he is going to Louisiana on Tuesday. I am in tears and not even sure why! I know I am worried that soemthing could happen, altho he doesn't have a particularly hazardous job usually. But that shouldn't reduce me to tears. Guess I am just overwhelmed by it all right now. Winter was HARD this year and now we are having NO rain so fields are drying up. I just think about unloading 250 bale loads of hay and go "how?". Normally he and I do it together but now what? THings like that and I just feel like I am not coping. Once it happens will probably snal me out of it, but in a fog now and have the big 4-H district show next weekend so gotta keep going for the kids!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2002
    Location
    Idaho USA
    Posts
    1,876

    Default

    Ask around. Here in our area we have a group of volunteers who pitch and help families of the deployed . You can get a "helper for the day" to mow and stack etc.

    Here they do everything from harvest crops to painting houses and babysitting.

    Hope have a wonderful group like this in your area.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,377

    Default So very sorry

    Again, I am so sorry this has happened ~ after the winter we all suffered through ~ this type of disruption would push everyone to tears ~ I would love to send some of our rain your direction if it would help ~ we have had enough for two years ! and it is almost time to cut hay! Jingles you to feel better soon and for your life to settle down as much as is possible.Good Luck with your 4-H show next weekend and hang in there cothers are thinking of you. Would bring "help" for you and the 250 unloading if I was located closer but am states away.
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2003
    Location
    itty bitty town, GA
    Posts
    3,003

    Default

    ShawneeAcres - I'm so sorry that this has hit you like this. I think right now you're just a little in shock and reeling from the suddenness of it. Have patience, give everything a little time to settle and I think you will feel a little better and maybe be more clear headed about how to manage.

    I know I'm probably not the best for giving advice right now considering my newest thread about being overwhelmed but all of my problems came on over an extended period of time. You have just been hit with this news so suddenly and I just think you need a little time to recover.

    (((((HUGS))))) to you - you will figure it out.
    Susan N.

    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,795

    Default

    Young people (high school and college) are having trouble finding summer jobs this year. Ask around, post flyers, advertise in your local newspaper. Since you live in farm country, there has to be a young person who can do the labor-intensive work for you.

    I have a young man who comes by every morning before school and takes care of some of the heavier chores. He will also work on weekends to accomplish some of the major jobs like fence repair, mowing, gardening, unloading hay, etc. He really doesn't know much about horses, but manages okay. I don't give him much work that involves handling the livestock, anyway. He just does all the "extra" stuff you mention in your post.

    FYI - I pay him $14 an hour. He's worth every nickle.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    1,267

    Default

    You need a long term plan.

    I don't know you nor your farm more than what posted above. In business, you should strive to have your employees tasked at the 80% level as a plan for the year. Why? Because something always crops up in the year, and you need "slacK". From your post, it appears that you have far tasked yourself to the 100-120+% range.

    You either need to reduce the number of things you do, or spend money on capital improvements to reduce touch-time, or hire help/lease-exchanges. Since you don't seem keen on reducing the herd, and hiring help seems to costly, I woulf focus on capital improvements. Why? They are everlasting gobstoppers! So, here is what I would do in your situation.

    1) Keep a log of everything you do in week. Simple, just task and how long it took

    2) Next review it and see if there are any obvious inefficiencies? e.g need to keep better lists so when you drive to town they are more productive?

    3) Review major time sucking activities. Mowing grass is always a good one. Can you maybe mow every 10 days instead of 7? The grass will still look acceptable, but you will save yourself 1 mow per month. If you are mowing 20 acres, 1 mow per month could be substantial!

    4) Review your equipment. If you bought a mower deck that was say a 60 inch vice 48 inch, you could cut down on mow time. Maybe you have a lot of detail work, and need to invest in a zero-turn? Maybe the weed wacker is a POS, and you need to invest in commercial quality to reduce lost time to line mis-feeds?

    5) If buying equipment isn't your thing, then I would look at big tasks that are worth sub-letting. E.g. Most farmers will deliver and stack for a nominal ($1-2/bale) charge. Maybe pay for grass services so you can focus on horse training?
    Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,377

    Default Just WOW and Thank You !

    Quote Originally Posted by blaster View Post
    You need a long term plan.

    I don't know you nor your farm more than what posted above. In business, you should strive to have your employees tasked at the 80% level as a plan for the year. Why? Because something always crops up in the year, and you need "slacK". From your post, it appears that you have far tasked yourself to the 100-120+% range.

    You either need to reduce the number of things you do, or spend money on capital improvements to reduce touch-time, or hire help/lease-exchanges. Since you don't seem keen on reducing the herd, and hiring help seems to costly, I woulf focus on capital improvements. Why? They are everlasting gobstoppers! So, here is what I would do in your situation.

    1) Keep a log of everything you do in week. Simple, just task and how long it took

    2) Next review it and see if there are any obvious inefficiencies? e.g need to keep better lists so when you drive to town they are more productive?

    3) Review major time sucking activities. Mowing grass is always a good one. Can you maybe mow every 10 days instead of 7? The grass will still look acceptable, but you will save yourself 1 mow per month. If you are mowing 20 acres, 1 mow per month could be substantial!

    4) Review your equipment. If you bought a mower deck that was say a 60 inch vice 48 inch, you could cut down on mow time. Maybe you have a lot of detail work, and need to invest in a zero-turn? Maybe the weed wacker is a POS, and you need to invest in commercial quality to reduce lost time to line mis-feeds?

    5) If buying equipment isn't your thing, then I would look at big tasks that are worth sub-letting. E.g. Most farmers will deliver and stack for a nominal ($1-2/bale) charge. Maybe pay for grass services so you can focus on horse training?
    This is a wonderful & thoughtful post with lots of good advice that I will use ~ thank you for posting blaster !
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
    Posts
    5,868

    Default

    One thing I am is VERY VERY efficient. I ahve to be as it has always been just myself and my husband that do the work around here, except for when i have had a working student in the summer, which I did not have last year. Every move I make is CAREFULLY planned out for maximum efficiency. So that isn't really the issue. The issue becomes the number of hours in the day that I must teach and ride for my business which reduces the number of hours for other chores. Remember I have to take care of 22 horses, no reducing numbers is not happening as most of these are client horses and needed for income. One or two are personal "marketing horses" and when they sell will likely not be replaced until this "crisis" is over. Yes this hit me at a very bad time as this is the middle of show season and I am typically at some show or another (and often more than one per weekend) almost everyweekend for 1, 2 or 3 days like last week. The harsh reality is that economically I don't have a lot of extra money to be paying for help, new equipment etc. Its been a stressfull year with the horrible winter we had, and the identity theft that we experienced, STILL waiting for our tax refund which is used for badly needed improvements around here, as someone filed taxes using OUR social security numbers, never heard of that scheme! So now when (hopefully soon) that money comes in, the driveway needs to be redone from the horrible rutting that occurred this winter, but hubby not here to do the work, I am no good at spreading gravel and is VERY expensive to hire someone to do this on a driveway that is about a 1/4 mile long! Sorry this is a frantic vent more than anything, just trying to not get totally overwhelmed. I think when he flies out Tuesday I will be looking at a long cry and then buck up and get going! If I were 30 or 40 it probably wouldnt seem so huge, but at 52 I honestly am beginning to "wear out", bad hip problems and such and no sense in seeing the doctor cause they are going to tell me to rest. and that is.not.able.to.happen right now!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,377

    Default

    You actually sound better already ~ hang in there !
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2000
    Location
    Coastal South Carolina :-)
    Posts
    3,948

    Default

    Just sending some {{{Hugs}}} your way from me & Miss Faith!
    Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
    Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"



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