Time really does fly right on by. It has been almost four years since I last wrote about growing up a beef farm.
Our oldest son was only 2 at that time and now he is the most awesome 6 year-old kindergartner! I was pregnant with our youngest and he is a very busy, very energetic, very happy 3 year-old. Jer and I enjoy including the boys and immersing them into the farm life. One nice benefit of daylight savings time is that I can hold off on my afternoon chores until my son gets off the school bus and then, both boys can tag along while I do my chores. They love to help me out and they use their little muscles to do their very best to make things move! The snow is really a great babysitter. At each of our stops along our route, they are either skating across the ice, jumping/sliding down giant mountains of snow, or wrestling each other.
Our afternoon chore-time route includes 4 major stops during the wintertime.
Stop 1 takes us to the feed shed behind the house to fill up on trace minerals for the calves and the mama cows.
I then pull the sled across the snow to the calves pasture (the boys wanted to help in this picture!), which takes us to….
After that, we are onward to the back pastures for….
Stop 4 where I feed out more mineral, and adjust more wires on the hay bales for our mama cows.
Most of the time, if the crust is strong enough, I will pull the boys back to the house in the sled. I am always looking to incorporate some more exercise! On this particular day, my oldest decided to help out, and he pulled his little brother part of the way home.
Jer and I both feel strongly that this is a family farm and as such, we want the boys to have the experiences that come with that while growing up. We understand that our way life may not be the one they choose for themselves as adults, and that is just fine. Regardless, these years on the farm will hopefully help instill in them the value of hard-work and the ins – and – outs of running a farm business. Developing a good work-ethic, running an ethical and honest business, learning how to take care of and provide for animals, keeping records, interacting with other producers, cattle buyers, etc, finding solutions to problems, thinking quick on your feet and being creative, trusting your instincts, learning about the cycle of life and death, and how some things just happen, with no rhyme or reason (we had this lesson last summer), learning to use tools and make fixes and repairs, learning to have faith and confidence in yourself and to never give up, and on and on and on……I feel that all of the above will prove to be invaluable to our children in their adult lives for whatever path they choose for themselves.
Jer, me and the boys are all INCREDIBLY ready to shed our layers of outerwear and enjoy the activities that late-spring and summer brings to us on the farm!
Happy Spring and safe calving for those that have started!