Skip to content

Raising animals is not for the faint of heart, unfortunately there can be days like today that have us on bended knee and asking why.

I got a phone call on my way home from work that one of our cows had lost a set of twins. We had been taking bets on how many calves we thought she had inside of her because of her growing belly.

She had given us a set of twins a couple of years ago and we knew there was probably more than one calf inside of her based on her growing middle. Unfortunately, she wasn’t actually due until the end of May so these babies were born way too early, leaving us wondering why and what could have gone wrong.

So on a day like today I found myself on bended knee as I took the lifeless little bodies to the creek pasture to return them to the earth. I thanked the good Lord for giving us the opportunity to do our part, I asked for peace for their momma, and I asked for peace in our hearts as we struggle and wondered what we could have done differently.

Loss sucks, loss of life hurts us as producers, because there’s nothing better for us than seeing a live calf on the ground drinking from its mother and continuing the cycle of life. We work hard to take care of these animals in the cold, snow,  mud, and on the sunny days, too.

Second, it’s hard for the mama to understand. She is out of sorts and unsure of what is going on. As I watched her tonight, she just wasn’t her usual self.  She did get up and eat though which is a good sign that she is healthy.

Third, there is loss of income, in this case we lost two calves that would have grown to provide us with a paycheck and provide food for other families.

So tonight as I type this I keep reminding myself that this is nowhere near the tragedy that our friends to the west have been facing, but it is is a reminder that not all days on the farm are full of sunshine and roses.  

From the gravel road-

Jen

2

It's Wednesday! Please welcome my guest and fellow North Iowa Blogger, Val from Corns, Beans, Pigs and Kids.

What Inspires Me Wednesday - My Community


Community.  Community can mean a few things.  It can be tied to location or tied to common interests.  I'm lucky and get inspired by both realms of my community.  

Latimer, Iowa married into the Latimer, Iowa community over 11 years ago and even as a young woman dating a local before that, I found the community very welcoming.  You don't find that warm hospitality everywhere you live or visit and it's been something I've appreciated and aspire to share with everyone I meet.


I love that even though we are a small community (town of 475), we have big ideas and don't let being small in size stop us from making our community to best place to live no matter your age, race or gender.  Five years ago, as a young Mom, I saw a need for a library in town.  I went to the city council and asked if I could put up a Little Free Library in downtown on city property.  They unanimously said yes, despite never hearing of such a thing before I brought the idea to them.  They believed in me and they believed in the goals of the Little Free Library, and I'm proud to say Latimer, Iowa was one of the first communities in North Iowa and really, even in Iowa, to put up a Little Free Library.  The community has rallied around this project and continues to use it all year long and donates books to me to keep in stocked.

Another project that our community rallied around was building a Splash Pad in one of our town's parks.  A Splash Pad is no small project, in fact ours cost over $92,000.  But in about 9 months (from the fall of 2017 to the start of the summer of 2018), our community fundraised, built and opened the Splash Pad!  How amazing is that!  The Splash Pad allows our community members to cool off and have fun in somewhere that is local and free.  My family became regular splashers this summer and we look forward to spending time at this local amenity again this summer.


Women in Agriculture 

Another community that inspires me is the world of women in agriculture.  Growing up on a farm where my Mom was incharge of the pig nursery (baby pig barn), drove tractor and was apart of daily operations, I always saw that this life was possible, but yet the world still didn't see her as a farmer.

After I graduated college, I started meeting other women in agriculture that inspired me to not let my gender slow me down in a male dominated field and change the minds and impressions of society.  I met these women in person at conferences such as Iowa Farm Bureau's F.A.R.M. team, Commodity Classic and different commodity group meetings.  As part of the ASA Dupont Young Leader program I was inspired to start my blog, Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids over seven years ago.  Since starting my blog, the opportunities to meet even more women in agriculture from across the country and world, both in real life and online has increased.  I have gotten involved with groups like CommonGround, a local Women's Grain Marketing Club and Outstanding Farmers of America.  I am proud to be a farmer and want other women who are driving a tractor, taking care of livestock, marketing their crops and organizing their farm's financials to feel like they too are farmers.


What about your community inspires you?  How are you inspiring your community?

You can follow Val on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CornBeansPigsAndKids

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/plaggeval/

Twitter: @PlaggeVal

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/valplagge/

Blog: https://www.cornbeanspigskids.com/

%d bloggers like this: