I think in any career there are days where you wonder why you chose this job. Seriously, I feel like there are weeks where I must wonder that more than anyone I know. If you never feel like this, consider yourself lucky. I have gone weeks at a time where each day more and more went wrong. Let me tell you, those are hard weeks to get up and keep going. Not to mention keeping a positive outlook on life.
Dairy farming is not an easy career. I am certainly not tooting my own horn because I choose to do this, but it’s not for the faint of heart. My milk price goes up and down constantly, but it seems like my inputs only go up. I am dependent on a lot of labor. Honestly, that has major ups and downs. When everyone is healthy and we are all working well together things are great. But when things are bad, they are bad and I mean really bad. Nothing is worse than having plans and cancelling them because someone cannot come into work. Or someone just decides not to show up. These are the concerns and issues my family and I deal with every day.
There were moments where I wondered how I would ever have a family. I knew if this kept up I never would have a family and a farm at the same time. Which led me to think about what if things don’t change? What if we cannot find another way to make this work better, would I pick the farm or having a family? Honestly, I would pick having a family. Which says a lot because I don’t think I could find a job I enjoy more than farming. But I don’t think people my age should have to choose. Why is it that the issues facing us today are so severe that we are choosing to have a life or have a dairy farm?
When I really started to think about selling my cows I just couldn’t imagine it. I will admit, I am emotionally attached to them. It broke my heart imagining putting Bambi on a trailer and sending her to another farmer. Regardless of whether she was being treated like a queen, not being able to scratch her head every day would just kill me.
Although there are days where I question whether I can go on; I do. I keep plugging along at Messing Dairy. Will everyday be good? Absolutely not. But if I keep working and looking to the future I can get to a point where I can have it all. There is nothing more gratifying than having your children tell you that they want to do what you do every day. Some day I want that. I cannot imagine the reward you would feel to have a child follow in your footsteps, whether they be 3 or 23.