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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

Someone asked me today why I get so excited about the babies being born on our farm when we have experienced it so many times before...

I have to admit I was dumbfounded.

Me: Huh? What do you mean? Do you get excited when humans that you know give birth?

Adult: Well, sure, but those are people. You are freaking out about animals.

Me: Well, have a seat, let me explain... 🙂

New baby that we are calling Twister

Spring on the farm means new life, new beginnings, new challenges, and a new chapter. As I have said, it's not always sunshine and roses but it's why most farmers and ranchers do what they do! We love to see a new baby calf hit the ground and then hop up within minutes looking for it's momma for a drink. Why? Because it means that we chose the right bull for that heifer or cow, that we kept that heifer or cow healthy during pregnancy, and that we (with our planning and care) helped bring a new life into the world.

It ALWAYS stays exciting, with each nearing day of piglets being born, with each day on the calendar being checked off as a due date approaches, it is ALWAYS exciting. With it, we teach our children (and social media following) about the life cycle and where their food comes from. We teach our children responsibility, about reproduction and giving the animals the proper care that they need after giving birth.

On our farm spring isn't all about livestock giving birth, the greening of the alfalfa and it's growth mean that we cared for our product and it has come back another year to provide our cows with nutrition and income for our family. Spring means that corn and soybeans can go in the ground, which will, in turn, provide nutrition for our animals.

Farmers and ranchers care deeply about their livestock and crops and want only the best for them and the consumers that will benefit from the product that is raised.

These are just a few of the reasons why I will never tire of spring on the farm and never tire of telling people about it!

What do you love about spring where you live?

From the Gravel Road-

Jen

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