October 2015 - The Usual Typical 'Non-Typical' Day

Dear Diary

Today started with a respectable 7am start when I jumped in the truck and headed to our smallest dairy, a mile down the road, for a general daily catch up with the herdsman who was his suspiciously 'over relaxed' self yet with everything in order as usual.  I then headed down the main road to the other end of the estate to roll out one of the dirty water irrigators, turned out (shock!) it didn’t want to work today and needed a repair.  Note to self - fix irrigator later.  Made the short drive to the main dairy unit and assisted one of the guys putting up side sheets in the crimped maize clamp ready for the contractors to begin crimping.  Caught up with the herd manager and assistants to see how everything was, and then picked up our apprentice (who lives on site) and took him back to the other end of the estate to our third dairy unit where he was due to be picked up by his tutor to be taken to college.  Note to self - pick up inoculant for crimped maize.  Caught up with head herdsman and assistant while there.  Headed to office and checked e-mails and weather before re-familiarising myself with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) in preparation for a plant inspection later in the morning.  Drank coffee.  Forgot inoculant.  Found inoculant and took down to the dairy and searched for an empty IBC for the contractors to use. 



Swapped trucks with the biogas operator enabling me to haul more than one passenger around the estate.  Collected two members of staff from the main dairy and headed down to the saw mill in the village to pick up a heap of sawdust before heading back across the estate to our third dairy unit to meet more staff.  Left the guys to set up the mobile race, lace the concrete with miracle anti slip product AKA sawdust and get cows ready for the vet to TB test all 350 cows starting at 10.30am.  Arrived for my 10.15am meeting with the LOLER assessor at 10.25am only to find he wasn’t there and after a quick phone call to the office, I was told he would be half an hour yet.  Went back to dairy to continue TB testing, vet didn’t turn up till 10.45am.  Phone rang at 11.30am to inform me that the assessor was ready and so went to collect him and headed off around our three dairy units and biogas plant, in the pouring rain, to catalogue all lifting gear and compressors.  During this exercise, I took a phone call from our contractors who had to delay maize crimping in order to change the rollers to meet the requirements of the crop coming in from the field.  Arrived at the main dairy unit and delegated the assessor to our biogas operator so I could get back to the TB test during which several phone calls were made to find out why 66 portable cubicles had not yet arrived on another site.  Finished TB testing at 1.15pm.  Packed up gear and returned staff back to the main unit.  Caught up with biogas operator to see how the assessment was progressing and wasn’t exactly met with words of enthusiasm.  Did a head count of all bull calves ready to go to market the next day before collecting and delivering drugs and sundries that had been deposited around the dairies but weren’t actually at the right dairies.  Spoke to one of the contractors about digestate and petted a dog.  Went for a sandwich.


Finished delivering stuff and headed to the office where I prepared passports for the 18 beef calves heading off the next day, registered 14 new calf births for the previous week, then signed 70 Christmas cards for well, to be honest, I don’t know who.  Drank coffee.  Wondered why our apprentice was calling me at 5pm, funnily enough he needed picking up and taking back home.  Picked him up and dropped him off along with a heap of paperwork at our main dairy.  Went back to office and processed a pile of staff holiday request forms and updated the rota.  Pondered the rota while drinking coffee.  Decided to write notes about my day because I thought it may be a good idea for a blog.  Died a little inside as I left the office remembering I had to be up at 4am the next morning to cover routine at one of the dairies.  Realised I was the muppet who rostered myself onto the early start which did nothing to help the situation!  Pulled up at home for 6.45pm, wrote down the 41 miles driven for the day bearing in mind I hadn’t left the estate all day.  Contemplated whether I had earnt a freshly poured pint!