Wednesday, 19 June 2024 13:26

Ultimate tractor for white cow deal pays off

Written by  Staff Reporters
Rory and sons Cohen, Oliver, and Harry with the dream tractor. Rory and sons Cohen, Oliver, and Harry with the dream tractor.

Cambridge dairy farmer Kirsty Steeghs made a unique trade off with her husband.

Rory had his eyes set on a new tractor, with all the bells and whistles.  In exchange, Kirsty wanted to get her dream white cow.  It’s a deal that’s worked out perfectly for both of them.

Kirsty says she loves the cows and stock work, while Rory has always been very mechanical, has a passion for tractors, and also does round bale silage contracting as part of the business.  Kirsty says that their skillsets are complementary, together they make a "great team".

"Rory is usually a 'make do' kind of guy, but he kept going back to this ex-demo tractor in the paper.  We needed a bigger tractor, this one had so many extras like a front PTO and GPS auto steer, it ticked all his boxes.  I didn't think he needed all those frills, just like I didn't need a white cow.  But if he was getting the tractor, then of course he wouldn't say no to a cow,” Kirsty says.

Rory got his dream tractor and Kirsty put the word out on social media looking for a special white
cow. Before long, she was welcoming Snow-Puff onto the farm. 

“Snow-Puff is beautiful, she stands out from afar. I love how whenever we go past the cows, the whole family point her out".

Kirsty Steeghs with her dream white cow FBTW

Kirsty Steeghs and her dream white cow, Snow-Puff.

Kirsty says she knows most of the cows in the herd by name, most of them have names tagged into their ears.   "We have increased the herd a bit this year, there are 450 cows to learn, but it is easier to know them by name than by number”.

The herd is mostly Kiwicross but the Steeghs have a mixture – some Jerseys, Friesians, and some less common breeds such as Milking Shorthorns, Montbéliardes and Normandes. Kirsty says it’s just her kind of herd.

The family have four red Massey Ferguson tractors now – and an old tractor for sons Cohen
(12), Oliver (10) and Harry (8). The old tractor always needs work, and Rory spends a lot of time with the children teaching them mechanics.

Kirsty says it’s a great example of what a great family-friendly lifestyle farming is. “We do love working for ourselves.  It hasn't always been easy or without sacrifice, but it has all been worthwhile.  I don't think our family would want to be anywhere else".

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