I did not grow up on a farm and neither did my husband. But he has takin to is like a frog to water. I have always had friends who are farmers, so I had a general idea what it's all about. People dont realize the work, devotion, faith and money that it takes to be a farmer. But especially when you are not a generation farmer.
Reality hit me square in the face last week when our little princess had to do a paper for school. She had to name 4 special moments in her life that stick out in her memory.
#1: her birth, which was a no brainer.
#2: our trip to florida with grandma 4 yrs ago.
#3: our trip to michigan last summer.
#4: learning how to ride and take care of her horse.
The really defining moment was that is took 30 mintues to pick these 4 simple moments from her long life of 8yrs. The reasons I bring this up is because sooo many people dont realize the sacrifices that you make when you are a farm family. This life is a choice for us and it is not a 9-5 job. We dont get to pick and choose our schedule. We can plan our day and the minute we walk to the barn it may all be changed.
-We get up early, usually 5-6. Even on the weekends, because there is always an animal to feed or check on.
- We sometimes have late nights, 11 or after. You never know when a calf will be born or have a long drive home from a cattle show. And crop time is the longest.
- The weather is unpredictable! Sometimes its cold, icey, hot, rainy and windy.
- The pay is not always steady.
-There is always something to work on or repair.
-There are rarely family vacations, because we have to schedule around calving, breeding, fieldwork, planting, detassling, haying, harvest and all the things in between.
-The animals come first and our needs second.
But through it all, my children have learned several things.
-where babies come from.
-the reality of life and death
-that hard work pays off
-that the world is bigger than they are
And our version of a family vacation is a cattle show, not the beach. That the animals need shelter, bedding, water and food as much as we do. They know the value of hard work and doing something they love, by seeing mark and I work together to accomplish our goals. So even though I regret sometimes that they dont do what their classmates do. We spend more time together as a family than most families do.
So if you get a chance thank a farmer.