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An open letter to my husband, my family and farming friends:

I see you.

I see you checking your phone to see what the weather is going to do, what the markets did, and what the latest news story is on your profession. I see you praying silently at church and wonder if you are asking for a rebound in the markets or are just thanking our Lord for a healthy family and a roof over their heads.  I see you teaching the next generation how to conserve and care for the land because it is the only one we will ever get. I see the worry in your eyes when more severe weather is on its way. I see you looking up to those that have gone before you seeking or at least wondering what their advice would be.


I hear you.

I hear you cussing and becoming short-tempered as Flood Creek is once again teasing the edges of her banks and threatening to rip out the fence that your family spent hours putting back up after her last rage.  I hear you (under your breath) asking, “Why do we do this?” But then I see the grin on your face when a healthy calf hits the ground. I hear your frustration when parts break and machines quit working. 

I smell you.

I smell the sweat from a hard day's work that often starts before the sun comes up and ends when the stars are out. I smell the manure that you are hauling to fertilize our fields and to create a comfortable, clean space for our animals.  I smell the fresh cut hay as it lay waiting to be baled to feed our cattle and provide income for our family.

I feel you.

I feel the pain that you’re feeling when you turn the other cheek to a critic about your profession or those people blasting comments about taking the insurance check.  I feel your frustration when that heifer we set up the perfect artificial insemination protocol for came back into heat or when the rain came right before our intended hay baling date. I feel you tossing and turning at night, unable to sleep because you are thinking about what to plant and how much grain to sell and thinking about how you will get it all done.

I taste you. 

I taste your hard work in the meat that you raised and the crops that you produced when we sit down at our table to enjoy a meal with our family and friends. I taste the blood, sweat, and tears that went into creating every ounce.

To all farmers, ranchers, and farming families. I see you. We see you. I see you because I am standing behind you every step of the way.  I keep it my goal to stay positive for our community, share what life on our farm is like, to provide a strong arm to hold you up when you want to fall and to encourage you to keep going when you feel like stopping.

Do you see us? Do you see what the farmers and ranchers are trying to do? I challenge you to make sure you are truly seeing what is going on around you.

I see you, from the gravel road-

Jen

We have guns in our house. Did I get your attention? Good! Some of our favorite hobbies include turkey hunting, shooting clay pigeons, and deer hunting, which means we are gun owners.

We have several bows and arrows in our home, actually four of them, we each own one. Our girls are getting to be great shots at the target in the yard!

This isn’t meant to be a controversial post about gun owners rights or about concealed carry laws or anything like that. It is meant to educate.

We practice S.A.F.E. In our home, do you?

Today, June 4, is National Safe Day! National Safe Day was started as the brainchild of Brooklynn Mae’s mother. Brooklynn was accidentally shot and killed by her best friend in 2013.

Her family wanted to do what they could to honor Brooklyn’s life so they filed for National Safe Day to be a recognized day on the calendar. They want to make sure all gun owners practice SAFE.

Safe stands for:

S- Secure all firearms in the home
A- Ask the question about unsecured firearms in the homes your child visits
F- Frequently talk to your children about the dangers of firearms
E- Educate and Empower others to be SAFE

Since our children have grown up seeing guns, hearing about guns and even watching us shoot clay pigeons. I feel confident that we have taught them to treat every single firearm as a loaded weapon, including their bows. The things I feel like ALL parents, grandparents, and gun owners need to work on beyond the above are:

T- Teach kids how to talk to their friends about gun safety.

Have the conversation with your kids about peer pressure and how to respond if a friend says they want to get a gun out of a gun safe or show them a gun. Teach them that it is ok to tell their friend “no” and give them the reasons why.

Y- You are one person, but YOU could be the one person that has the right conversation with someone that could save a life.

So don’t only practice the words SAFE add the TY to it and ensure that your children and other’s stay safe.

Thoughts?

From the gravel road-

Jen

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