Monday, July 21, 2008

The Elkton kayaking couple

Jarett and Laura are an Elkton couple who spend a great deal of their time kayaking the rivers and lakes of South Dakota. They not only go kayaking on warm, sunny summer days, but on cold windy, rainy days as well. You can also find them paddling on the lakes way in the middle of the night, wearing their miners lanterns.

Setting out on a kayak trip

Jay and Jarett are about to head down the Sioux River for the Flandreau dam. Today the river is high, and it is windy and rainy. This is a trip they have both made before, but each new day brings a new and interesting challenge. Find more details on Jay's blog, Kayaking the Lakes of South Dakota.

Kayaking the Big Sioux River

Jarett is about to run a small rapids in the Sioux river at the Pow Wow grounds north of Flandreau and is heading for the dam in Flandreau. It is a short stretch of the Big Sioux, but an interesting and pretty trip. The river will wind through the city park past the golf course, and he will end the 2 hour trip at the dam. Read more about kayaking on his blog, South Dakota Canoe Association.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hill Top Dairy

When you think of Elkton, you don't usually think of rolling hills and pasture. Yet this dairy is called Hill Top Dairy because, surprisingly, it is located on a hill. Standing at the front door you can see for miles in any direction.

Touring the dairy

Olga took time away from her office to give me a tour of the dairy. She pointed out a few new operations they have added this past year. One that seemed hard to believe is that the dairy takes its manure or used straw and runs it through a drying process that kills the bacteria. Once it comes out of the machine, it looks like foam, but is really just reused straw. It works great and sure saves on the manure hauling.

Mario's day in the hospital

Mario spends his day working in the hospital. Not only does he give IVs , but he also cares for a good many milk cows and nurses along their new born calves.

Cows riding the carousel

Hill Top Dairy is the only dairy, or one of the few dairies, in South Dakota that uses a carousel in the milking parlor. 40 cows at a time are milked, and cows continue getting on and off as they start or finish the milking process.

Two sides of managing the dairy

Not only does Wilfried spend hours out in the barns looking over the livestock, but he also spends a good deal of time at his desk checking feed costs, milk production, and dry cows. The computer in the dairy barn is just one of many tools he uses to run a well-managed dairy.