Seeing as it’s the week of love, I have seen a pile of “X Reasons I’m glad I married a Farmer” posts by ladies out and about in social media. Mostly these posts have been from ladies that didn’t come from a farm background. I love hearing their stories of how they came to love being involved on the farm and in agriculture. These posts are interesting to me as I have always been a farmer. Born on a dairy farm with 5 brothers and a sister, I was the serious tom boy of the family. I have been referred to as the “6th brother” by my siblings on a regular basis since I spent so much time in the barn with them.
I have been involved a farm operation of one sort or another my entire life. My husband I both have always wanted to farm and worked together for this fantastic common goal. I realize there are fewer “born and raised on a farm” farming females, so I feel a strong need to share our story as well: Why my husband and I married each other and why we love being a team in life and business:
- Lifestyle. We love being able to feel a deep connection to the land and our family. We are a true family farm with my husband parents and brother and ourselves farming together. Our kids get to grow up with their family and they are learning some of the greatest life lesson I believe I can give them: how to work and a great understanding of how nature works. We both love working outside and cherish the time we get to do so together.
- Teamwork. Nothing says team building like herding a set of mature bulls back into their pen at 10:00 at night by flashlight in the spring mud. We have learned to trust each other implicitly and most of the time, we can anticipate each other’s thoughts and actions.
- Having each other’s back. We are a team, when one falters, the other ponies up, no questions asked. Last year my husband hurt his back during late calving and early breeding season. We immediately adapted our roles so he was more the home bound care taker and I was out checking cows and helping with breeding. Now, that I’m pregnant and not feeling so well, my husband has stepped up his game in the house, I do what I can and our extended family helps out. On weekend, the kids are dispersed to whoever has a job outside that is appropriate to have the kids with and we all do our best.
- Common Goals. We are each other’s cheer leaders, because we have very common goals. We worked for 10 years in order to save enough to get back to the farm. Pay off the farm truck? Hurrah!! Made our goal for sale day averages? Everybody wins. Working together make us better people, we learn how to leverage each other’s strengths and work on developing our weaknesses
- We make each other better. Funny story, I was in the sales industry for 10 years and still hated calling strangers. Yep, it took a lot of pep talks from my husband to get past the fear of the phone (I’m great at face to face convos). It’s helped me professionally at my off farm jobs and personally for our farm business ventures. On the flip side, my experience with dairy has been pretty handy to up our game with our purebred operation, we’ve improved our sanitation and calf management immensely and our bottom line has rewarded us.
- Kindness and tolerance. Having a business and a marriage with the same person does lend itself to some chances to get grumpy but don’t stay that way for long. Having a farm business means conflict needs to be dealt with head on and quickly. A festering argument doesn’t help anyone; the cows can tell when your attitude is off and we don’t want to risk any farm accidents because anger or distraction. It’s simply not worth the risk.
- Passion for the industry. We are both all in when it comes to agriculture. We are both fortunate that we didn’t have some of the growing pains that many farm families have when our person has to adapt to farm life from a more urban upbringing. We both grew up with the understanding that farm work needs to get done and crews need to be fed and both are important pieces of the farm business. So we are pretty much both farm fanatics, so a day working together is a great date for us.
- We have lots to talk about. Any long drive is a great time for us to discuss of farm goals, where are with the kids, how the crops are growing, what to contract, what bulls we need to replace. No end of conversation. Yes, we talk about non-farm stuff too, but usually it ties back to ag in some way or another 🙂
P.S. If Hub’s had written this, a man of fewer words, it would have been much shorter.