Auction: Seeking Jersey Cows {part 3}

{For Part 2}

We thanked him for his information and continued assessing our options. We wrote lists to organize our preferences: Hope and Gabby were due at the end of June. Perhaps Cee could go in that category because she was due in July, but she wasn’t yet dry (cows are typically weaned off milking a couple of months before their due date). So we wanted to get one of those three and then bid on a cow currently being milked. Our options were Daisy or Sweety or possibly Heidi or Baby. But Daisy was our (okay, my) top choice, and then Sweety.

We then began discussing the possible order of bidding. What if Sweety was brought out before Daisy? What would we do? Maybe they’d come out in numerical order. Daisy was 131, Sweety 152. What if they didn’t bring them out in numerical order.

It was getting close to 11, the start of the auction.

Did you get your bid number from the office?” someone asked us. When we shook our heads he directed us to the “office”, a table set up in the machinery shed. There we also discovered a table set up with women selling chili, coffee, hot dogs,chips, an anti-farm-fresh smorgasbord. Thanks to the roaring grill it was approximately 1degree warmer inside the uninsulated shed that boasted one ginormous sliding door opened as wide as possible and leading directly to the porta-potty.

We gave our required contact information, still feeling uncertain about what was involved with an auction, and collected our number: 314.

We wandered back outside, it was still cold. The biting wind was lessened mildly by the surrounding buildings, but I was still regretting not bringing a hat.

The auction will start soon,” a small man with a black hat boomed into the microphone. “We’ll start with the machinery out here and then move around back for the livestock portion after.” I checked our clock. Still 10 more minutes and I was frigid. I also was not interested in the least in the machinery.

Groups of chatty farmers milled around, greeting friends and catching up – a rare treat for the often solitary farmer. Intermixed were tell-tale black broad brimmed hats of the Amish. I watched as these men, some with long beards, most without, laughed and chatted in wonder. My interest in the Amish lifestyle began after reading a memoir of a couple who lived among an Amish-like community for 18months. So much farming wisdom and knowledge is held in communities like these and I wished to think of a way to engage in their community to learn.

Okay folks, we’re going to start the bidding here with this small stuff and work our way around and end with the tractors,” we heard the auctioneer announce.

Finally, we’re getting started. We made our way over to the smaller items grouped together in cardboard boxes.

The auctioneer put away his microphone and continued socializing with his colleagues. I checked the time. Still five minutes.

The crowd was thickening which made me a little nervous.

What if we didn’t get Daisy?

{The auction finally starts in Part 4 and I manage not to freeze!}

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