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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Celebrating Farm Life….Every Day

It's National Agriculture Appreciation Month!
However, we celebrate and appreciate agriculture and our farm life everyday.
Below is my most recent article from Farm Indiana.
Enjoy and remember to thank a farmer this month!


I was asleep in bed, enjoying the quiet on one of our cold, winter mornings when I heard the door open and boots stomping mud and manure all over the floor.  I was sure he had forgotten something—his coffee, extra coat or paperwork—and my peace was disturbed.  

“Hello dear,” he proclaimed “sorry to bother but where can I find some old towels?”  I took a deep breath, “We only have one and you used it on the dog.”  “Oh,” he stated “I found a newborn calf half frozen by the barn.  The mom had twins and I have got to warm her up.  She’s in the front seat of the truck now.”  

I sat up in bed, my peace no longer a priority, and yelled, 
“Oh no!  Just take our bath towels, however many you need.”

I worried about this calf all day and constantly asked for updates which I am sure were a bit annoying to my farmer as he tended to the herd and other daily chores in the freezing, windy weather.  However, I got a picture that afternoon that helped bring the peace I had felt that morning back to life.  Our niece and nephew were holding on to the newborn calf who was standing tall and looked warm and healthy.  
They had appropriately named her Frosty.

Frosty lived through that dreadful morning and now runs around the barnyard with the kids like a pet dog.  However my friends’ calf, so thoughtfully named Baby Flowers by their young daughter, did not make it through a similar dreadful day.  She stated that her little girl would be devastated by the loss of this calf who she had grown so fondly of in just one day.  I reminded my friend that her daughter would be okay.  Her daughter would come to understand the concept of life and death at an early age that many people don’t teach their children about until they grow older.  Her daughter would be stronger for going through the grieving process and learning to understand the emotions of what it brings to her outlook on life and the strength that sits within her.

We celebrate and grieve in one way or another on the farm almost daily—the loss of an animal, the ups and downs of the commodity markets, the joy in growing something on the land we own and the weather, oh how we celebrate and have grief about the weather.  

Life on the farm is full of both celebrations and griefs and it’s all very much worth it.  In my short life, I have seen calves and baby pigs die, diseases strike our family’s cattle heard, the fall of crop prices, river waters flood my family’s fields too many times and the sun’s heat dry up the crops.  I have watched my dad die on the farm that he sacrificed so much of his life for and celebrated his life on the same farm that his family continues to work on today.  I have witnessed the hard work our farmers give daily to their family farms and the strength and endurance to keep them operating for generations to come celebrating the good and bad each step of the way.

As we await spring to arrive and pray for a year full of good weather, steady prices and safety for our farmers, I am excited to celebrate Ag Appreciation Month in March and hope you will join me and learn something about agriculture and farmers.  And I thank Frosty and Baby Flowers for their enduring life lessons and reminders that farm life is worth celebrating every day. 

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