Here is a short post by an intelligent young lady who was raised in the Ag lifestyle, married a buckaroo after college and has a daughter and still enjoys this lifestyle. I thought it was pretty spot on for most of us in the business of animal husbandry. Thanks Missy.
A couple of weeks ago, I drug myself out of bed at 5 AM on a Saturday morning to frozen water pipes. We had forgotten to leave the faucet dripping and the temperature had dipped down to ten below zero. If that wasn’t bad enough, coffee hadn’t been made the night before.
I didn’t stay home and thaw out the pipes. I dressed in multiple layers and headed out to chop ice for the horses. I could get coffee in town if I hurried. Then, it was off to feed cows and make sure the rest of the livestock had water.
Many people are thinking WHY didn’t I take care of the house first, while others understand the WHY. It is the WHY of agriculture that sometimes is left out. WHY do we leave comfortable beds for frosty mornings without coffee. WHY we ruin pickups by turning them into calf and lamb warming rooms. Or WHY people in agriculture choose to produce food, fiber and pharmaceuticals knowing: the pay isn’t going to be good, the hours are going to be long, and the end result is death.
I asked several people WHY they make these choices. The overwhelming response is: what else would I do and it is in my blood. These responses are ambiguous at best.
To put things in perspective, while agriculture is deeply ingrained in my blood, it is not something that is genetic. I have one sister who gets the same look on her face in a corral of cattle, which I do when I go into her daycare. Not exactly fear but definitely some discomfort. I think it is the same look my husband gets at Wal-Mart.
There is something to be said about being involved in agriculture. It is not a job to many people but rather a way of life. The ability to have tangible goals where the end result can be seen and held is comforting. The raising of a small calf bucking across the field to a wholesome protein source while maintaining good stewardship of the land is a reality not just a dream.
Many people are involved in agriculture because of the family values associated with raising and producing food. The respect for life, nature, and work ethic along with the various jobs associated with farming and ranching make it an ideal environment for many to raise kids.
So, WHY did I leave my warm bed to no coffee? I could get coffee eventually but the horses couldn’t go to town to get water. I love breathing cold (and I mean COLD air) that hasn’t been run through an air conditioner. I also enjoy knowing my daughter will know how to change her own oil, run a tractor, and tell the difference between a bull and a steer.
These are the things that make the worst day ranching without coffee better than good days at other jobs