As I was thinking of ideas to post about today, I kept singing in my head “We are family”. All sing along now. Okay, singing over. A family farm doesn’t get more family than ours. As a fourth generation farm (grooming the fifth) we are proud of how connected we all are to care of animals and land.
Dairy farming requires long hours, personal sacrifice and a tremendous amount of care for our animals and land. Most folks have their “work” lives and their family lives. They live for the weekend when they can relax and spend time with each other. In our lives, work and family are blended into one big blob. Family members are co-workers, and co-workers are family. Two generations working together and one generation tagging along.
The best part of having a family business is involving our children. No, not like slave labor. Really involving them. The farm allows children to have many unique experiences. They learn about the circle of life. They learn about caring for animals. They learn about working as a team.
Tim and I are always discussing the values we want to instill in our children: honesty, respect and hard work. Is there a better place to learn those values than a farm? Maybe, but it won’t be as fun. While we do work a lot, we also play. The boys “help” us with chores. Which means Erik gets to ride in the tractor and Jonnie gets to ride in the wagon with calf bottles. They get to pet kitties, be licked by calves and stomp around in the mud. The boys get to be with one set of grandparents almost every day (this makes my parents jealous). When they are a few years older, they will be able to “explore” the woods and pond the same way Tim, Sarah, Steven and Samantha did (and I am sure Jon and his brothers and sisters did too). Our children will never have Nature Deficit Order.
Another bonus to having a family business is that our schedules are extremely flexible (well between milkings at least). Tim always gets to eat lunch with the boys and we can go to museums/zoos/etc on week days.
Farms are a great place to live, work and raise a family. We are thankful to our customers who continue to support our family farm and in turn support our desire to raise our family in a blessed and nurturing environment. It is our commitment to care for our animals and land so that we can pass on our family’s legacy to those who wish to follow.