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This story originally appeared in print as part of “The Journey from Farm to Table”
Doug Nichols is the owner of Cloverleaf Farms.
“Most days start out at 6:30 a.m., checking the cattle to make sure they have adequate water, forage, shade (in the summer), and overall health. The rest of the day is literally up in the air. It varies with the season, daily weather, and to-do list. If the weather is acceptable, there is always outside, manual labor work to done. ‘Build fence’ and ‘repair fence’ are literally always on the to-do list. I’ll tell you one random thing on the to-do list now — after the storm a couple weeks ago, a walnut tree fell over. Once time and weather allows, it will need to be cut up and hauled away.
“If I’m not doing manual labor, there’s always plenty of office work to be done — accounting, market research, marketing, which will be a major focus over the next six weeks, etc. Every day starts with an agenda, but that agenda has to be flexible. Sometimes you get sick cows that need immediate attention. Sometimes a cow gets out and you get a text from the neighbor that says ‘Number 210 is in my backyard.’ And yes, that really happened. That gets taken care of ASAP. A piece of machinery breaks down, you’ve gotta fix it. There’s always something new.”