The Steele County American Dairy Association will host its spring Dairy Banquet on Saturday, April 9. The evening will begin with a social hour from 6:30-7:15PM followed by dinner and a program at the Owatonna VFW. Tickets are $12 and available from Mary Schroeder at (507) 213-9394. Tickets need to be purchased by April 3. One of the highlights of the evening will be the recognition of the 2016 Dairy Royalty.

As it feels like spring in the air, my mind wanders back to my youth. It would be around this time of year that my dad would get a few of the neighbors together and we'd herd some of the heifers along with three or four of the older cows and move them a mile down the road to our other farm where they would spend the summer. It was done to save on pasture on the home farm.

As a kid I thought it was great fun chasing the cows down the gravel road. Sometimes things would get a little out of hand and one of the animals would take off like a nut bolting down the ditch. I thought that was great fun. My dad didn't. He would then drive his 47 Chevy minus the trunk lid over every morning and evening and hand milk the few cows kept at the other farm. He'd pour the milk into a milk can sitting in the open trunk. This of course was before the days of the bulk tank. I was only able to take part in this for a few years as cattle started to be stolen from isolated pastures, so my dad didn't want to take the risk of having any of his cows taken so the twice a year cattle drives came to an end.