About an hour after lunch, I stopped to chat with Larry Vogel (see top picture). Larry runs an organic seasonal dairy and milks 21 Jerseys for 9 month out of the year. He dries his cows out for the final 3 months. An organic dairy has a lot of advantages for a guy with a smaller operation - feed costs are minimal, the cows aren’t burnt out so they continue to produce well through several lactations, there are more replacement heifers to sell, milk prices are much higher (Larry is getting $31/ hundredweight). Larry’s cows produce a herd average of 48 pounds of milk per day, with premiums paid for his high butterfat and protein content. Larry may never get rich with this dairy operation, but because of his very low costs, he’ll continue to make a living even when milk prices fall!
We’re camped tonight at Lona’s home on a back road, about 12 miles from Martinsville. Lona has several horses including a miniature horse and donkey. If I hitched this pair up in front of Doc and Dolly, they may get lost in their shadow, but who knows, they might end up pulling pretty good!
I had a really nice day. The people of Indiana have been really kind and generous. They’re also about the most courteous drivers that I have seen on this trip. Tomorrow, we’re off for the Martinsville area.