As we anxiously await the arrival of our second child later this year, I can’t help but reflect on the type of lifestyle we are providing for our children – the growing up on a cattle farm type of lifestyle.
Neither myself nor my husband grew up on a cattle farm. I grew up on a hobby farm in western Washington State, with rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and our family dog. We also had a large vegetable garden every summer as well as a nice-sized fruit orchard. My husband grew up in northern Maine surrounded by lots of woods and plenty of fishing and hunting opportunities.
Raising livestock was always a dream for me, but with the livestock being horses – not necessarily cattle. The dream of having a cattle farm blossomed for both of us during our time in Montana, before we moved to Maine. Jeremiah’s professional dream was always to return to northern Maine and work as a fish biologist, managing all the bodies of water that he had fished as a boy. Although my family and close friends were all living in Montana at this point, we knew that our dream of having a cattle farm would never be recognized in the West – we could never afford the land! When a job opportunity opened up in Maine, we took the plunge and headed East. We each drove a vehicle across the country, loaded with all of our belongings, including our 70 lb dog. The trip took us 4 1/2 days, and I was 5 months pregnant. I cried tears of joy and relief when we finally turned onto our country road.
Fast forward almost 2 1/2 years, and we are heavily immersed in the cattle farming life. We are approaching our second calving season, with 18 pregnant cows. Our herd has grown from 10 to 20 cows in the last year. We calved and raised 10 healthy and strong calves last year.
Our son is now 2 years old and he is our number one ranch hand. He loves going in the backpack to do herd checks and he loves seeing his “momma cows.” I can only imagine how thrilled he will be when we have a few baby calves on the ground. He is already proving to be a good little cattle farmer.
We chose this type of lifestyle for our family and thus far, we have no regrets. Whenever our son sees his momma cows, he smiles so bright – a smile filled with such pure joy and happiness.
If we ever need any affirmation for choosing this cattle lifestyle for our family, it would be in that boy’s smile.
Be sure to read our latest update: Little Farmhands: Growing up on a Beef Cattle Farm from Winter 2019!