With all the social media shares on agriculture that have come about with the #farm365 movement started by Andrew Campbell (aka: @FreshAirFarmer), it’s great that farmers have a voice and are able to share the realities of farming. @NurseLovesFarmr has been a long-standing #agvocate and it’s great to see so many others out there sharing and supporting.
When I blogged on the Canadian Beef blog, I wrote about our daughter being “the beef farmer’s kid“. I wrote about bringing part of my culture to the farm. I married into a farming family and incorporate some of my culture in the food I cook for our family. Hubby used to be a strictly meat and potatoes kind of guy, but now loves his beef served up in so many different ways (like in Korean Beef Bulgogi)!
I also explained why farmers are the original environmentalists. Every day is Earth Day for farmers. I’m not kidding. It really is. Farmers have to be stewards of the land. Everything from soil health to keeping our forests strong, to keeping our water sources clean = all not only in the best interest of everyone, but for us too. It really is in our best interest to manage the farm in the most sustainable way.
Admittedly, my introduction into farm life wasn’t without plenty of questions and wondering if this was the life for me. The Spring breathes new life with our calves born. It’s an exciting time, full of wonder and amazement at the beauty of life. When it’s time to send the cattle down south, I always feel a bit sad. I can’t help it. I know that we take excellent care of our animals, but it is sad to see them go. I spent much of my adult life as a vegetarian and then I married a beef farmer.
I found myself in an interesting position. I was like a bridge between farmers and consumers/the general public.
With our daughter being raised on the farm, I believe she has a better understanding of the circle of life. She’s connected to the land and to the animals. See sees birth and she witnesses death. We don’t slaughter animals on our farm, but she has seen a heifer die while giving birth to a calf, and ultimately, the calf not surviving either. Little One has seen the chicken coop ravaged by a wild animal, only to have a few chickens survive. Through it all, there is sadness, but also understanding (that I am always shocked to see in one so young).
I am not going to lie. Being a farming family is not easy. Sometimes I need Hubby to remind me of why we do this. It’s an often-times thankless job. It’s hard work. It’s expensive to farm. This said, my husband always reminds me why we need to continue to farm. There is a lot to be proud of being a farming family. He also reminds me that we are rich in so many ways.
Fellow farming families, what do you love about farming? Why do you continue to farm?
Those who do not farm, what would you like to know more about when it comes to farming?
Thanks for sharing your story.
Victoria Ess says
This was a very interesting read! I had no idea what the life of a farmer was like.
heidi c. says
My brother-in-law is a beef (and grain) farmer as well and I know that a lot of love and dedication goes into his work,
Judy Cowan says
Great post, farming is not an easy life and we need to be thankful for those who do it. Thanks for sharing your story.
Thanks so much, Judy! As a girl raised in the city, with zero connection to the food I was eating, I had no idea what the realities of farming were. There are a lot of misconceptions and lack of knowledge of what goes on, and I am the first to admit that I had absolutely no clue what was entailed before I married a beef farmer!
I used to be an animal activist. I used to be vegetarian. I tried to go vegan, but loved cheese and all dairy products far too much! Because I married a beef farmer and now consume meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products does not mean I do not value life or do not love animals. It’s not as black and white as people may think. I think it’s just a different understanding and appreciation I have being connected to the land and to the animals.
Sarah Schultz says
What a great post! More and more farmers need to share their stories just like this!
Thanks so much, Sarah! That would be a great idea! I’d love to read more and more farmers’ stories!
Deborah / Mom2Michael says
I applaud you. Farming is such hard work and so necessary to everyone’s survival. I get really angry when I hear people talking about the evils of modern farming. Especially with livestock – how can anyone think it’s in a farmer’s best interests to not treat their animals well? Makes no sense. Why would a farmer not take the utmost care?
We don’t live on a farm of course, but I grew up growing a lot of our own food. I make it a point to teach my sons about where their food comes from. I still laugh a little every time we drive past a field of cattle and my little guy says, “mmmm. Steak.”
THANK YOU, Deb!!! You pretty much nailed it right there. It is not in the farmer’s best interest to NOT take care of his livestock or his land.
Oh, your last sentence made me giggle! xo
I admire those who devote so much of you life to farming. There are no days off??!! I know I could never be so devoted!!
Cheryl: no days off or holidays. The farm and animals don’t take care of themselves 🙂 This said, we DID go on a vacation to Disney World last week, but that took the help of others to manage the farm, and not just anyone can do it because it’s too much of a liability. Hubby’s sister took care of the farm this time. When we went to Montreal to visit my family, Hubby’s fellow beef farmer friend took care of the farm for us for a few days. It really takes a lot of juggling to be able to do this. We used to never go on family vacations because of this. Now that Little One is a bit older and wants to spend time with her cousins, we need to make family vacations happen…even if it means only once or twice a year and for only a few days.