So often do we hear farmers say “Howdy, I am Farmer Brown from Wisconsin and we milk 125 cows and run 300 acres of land”. Blah, Blah, Blah. Farmers are really good at telling consumers what they do, but what we don’t commonly hear is why they do it.
Sure, it is always cool to learn how many cows your neighbor feeds and milks everyday or how many acres of corn he/she plans to harvest this fall, but wouldn’t you be more interested to know why they farm? Wouldn’t you agree that it is easier to connect with someone when you understand their core values versus their business stats? Farming is more than just numbers and trying to make a profit, it is a lifestyle. Each farmer has their own set of reasons and values that drives them to work as hard as they do 365 day a year, and today I want to share my “why” with you. I will try not to get too sappy and sentimental on you
1. It is in my blood.
I was born into a dairy farming family and at a young age my sisters and I were on the farm feeding and caring for our family’s animals.
I was lucky enough to work with and learn from, not only my parents and grandparents, but also my great-grandparents. I was taught to be tough enough to take a kick in the leg from a rowdy heifer, but also to be gentle enough to care for newborn calf. Strong enough to get through the bad days and how to find humor in them when you can. I learned that a good night’s sleep comes after a hard day’s work and that to get respect, you have to give it. It is the lessons that they taught me and the passion they showed me that made me want to carry on the family legacy of caring for the land and animals. I farm because I want to make my family proud.
2. It is important.
People need to eat. What I do everyday helps feed the world.
“My grandfather use to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher, but every day, three times a day, you need a farmer.” -Brenda Schoepp
I know that my job means something and that I can help families all over the country and world. I think it is really cool that what I do, what I work so hard for everyday, ends up on a dinner table somewhere and brings families together. By caring for dairy cattle and producing milk I am able to provide nutrition for thousands of families. I farm because I want to help people.
3. It is what I love.
I love that my job allows me to be outdoors and work with family. I love that I get to care for animals. I love that I don’t have to sit in a cubicle all day and that I don’t have to wait until dinner time to see my husband. I love seeing my calves grow into strong milk cows. I love that my cows can’t talk back to me. I love watching our fields turn from dirt to green waves of corn. I love that my job requires brains and physical labor. I love that I don’t have to do my hair every morning (Even though, sometimes, I still do). I love seeing the fruits of my labor. I love that I will be able to pass our farm onto our future children. I love that every day is different. I farm because I love it.
Long story short, I farm because I believe in hard work, agriculture and providing families with safe, affordable dairy products. I believe in family, love and passion and my job encompasses all of these values. Why do you do what you do?