What I've learned from (and about) Yaks 110

I’m no expert but farmers of every type have a love-hate relationship with Mother Nature. The good days are great and the bad days are horrible.



There are references to the power of nature in literature from the beginning of man. The bible mentions floods, hoards of insects, and drought. Just think of Noah’s Ark. 40 days and 40 nights of rain is a lot. One of my favorite childhood book series was Little house on the Prairie. They dealt with prairie fires, blizzards, locusts, and dust storms among other trials.


This winter (2019) has been a rough one for farmers across the nation (and around the world). Blizzards during calving season prove to be very problematic. You wait for 9 months nurturing the mothers and then a deep freeze and/or a combination of rain and snow can put all of your hard work at risk. There is a huge area of our country under water right now due to thawing and rain combinations. Imagine the heartbreak of struggling to save 100’s of head of cattle from surging waters as you also try to save yourself and your family.


We live in an area with four very distinct seasons. Every season is both glorious and challenging. In summer there is a threat of extreme heat and drought. This is hard on crops, man, and beast. Of course you also enjoy lush greenery and gorgeous sunshine.

Fall brings the rush of the harvest in a race against the whims of nature. There is also the beauty of the changing foliage and the bounty of the harvest.


The bitter cold and deep snow of winter can be both disheartening and difficult. A sick or young animal is susceptible in these conditions. Winter is also a time of beauty and reflection.

The rebirth that occurs in the spring is something every farmer longs for after a long winter. New calves, twittering birds, budding trees, and blooming flowers are hopeful signs of spring. The stinging swarming insects, endless soaking rains, deep sucking mud, and the clean up from everything that piled up over winter are the trials we endure.

The struggle is real but the beauty is so worth it.




My husband and I have raised our family of 6 children in our favorite place on earth, Tully, NY.  Sixteen years ago we built our home and decided we wanted to raise livestock. He was raised on a dairy farm and my father was a veterinarian, so animals were a part of who we were and we wanted our kids to know the value of a hard days’ work.  Our first venture was with alpacas. We did it all: breeding, vet bills, shows, seminars, trips, visits, and a lot of buying and selling. Of course there were ups and downs with mistakes and successes along the way.

Being on the iyak board is an honor and I promise to do my best.  I am still learning as I go and am awed by the knowledge and dedication of the board members.  As I become more comfortable with my role, I hope to be able to contribute more.