Our small town of Mt. Hope hosts a lot of events at Mt. Hope Auction right next to us, but Horse Progress Days held on July 4 & 5 outdid most of them. This year there were around 25,000 people from all around the world who attended Horse Progress Days. This event is built around horse farming for the Amish, but covers a lot of other related interests, such as logging, natural health products, and more.

When I got close to town in the morning there were horseback riders directing traffic. Horse drawn wagons with fancy horses and wagons were shuttling folks from parking areas to the event. There was no parking at the auction grounds­. It was all filled with tents, displays, horse products, equipment, food, and people. Lots of people.

With over 200 vendors and simultaneously running seminars, it was not possible to see every thing I wanted. So I spent most of my time watching horse training in the round pen. There were some big name professionals who are able to train horses and people at the same time, talking constantly as they work. I learned a few things that will help me with my own horse, Sonny, who faithfully pulls my buggy at occasional intervals, while spending most of his time gorging himself in my pasture.

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On Oct. 10, 2012 we took over the day to day operations of the feed mill in Mt. Hope. At the time we were running JB's Feed & Supply LTD which is a wholesale pet food distribution business. The business was running with minimal staffing and products. The building was old with part of the floors being wooden and some of them concrete. The floor was uneven with areas where it wasn't safe to run the forklift in case you would end up in the basement. Speaking of the basement – there was a pit in the basement where the old grinder sat in and if we had a lot rain we would have to pump it out with the sump pump.

In the basement was the bottom of the grain leg that transported the grains to it's designated locations. The bottom of the grain leg was rusted out so when you used the leg grain would end up working itself out through rusted out bottom across the dirt floor. I shoveled all the rotten grain and debris away from the leg and built a wooden enclosure around the leg to contain the grain from leaking away. The basement was damp, dimly lit and had a low ceiling. You couldn't stand upright without hitting your head and ending up with your hair full of cobwebs. There was also the additional element of rodents. It was the perfect habitat for rats and mice.

Going back to the upstairs – when the main structure was torn down in the summer of 2013 it was deduced that there had been 8 additions added to the main building through the years. It looked like these additions were added to serve a single purpose in the moment. You now ended up with all these nooks and crannies where it was difficult to maneuver and use space to its fullest because it was difficult to maneuver and move your product in and out of the areas.

When it rained it was another story. The roof leaked and you would have to move your inventory from getting wet. The floor would get wet and slick and it would be difficult to maneuver around with the fork lift. In the second your of operation Duane the owner of the building and real estate started talk about rebuilding the mill. This came to fruition during the summer of 2013. A wooden frame steel sided building was built with a dock at the back side on the alley. Some of the old mill equipment was rebuilt and utilized along with adding new pieces that were needed to complete the manufacturing part of the operation. 20' ceilings have allowed us to add pallet racking and have most of our inventory stored on pallets. There is no comparison from what we have now to what we had but we wouldn't change anything. We appreciate what we have and feel very blessed.