by Ashley Middleswarth
Those of us fortunate enough to grow up in production agriculture know that our daily work is a true labor of love. The lifestyle can require long hours in the tractor, long days in the pasture or my favorite, long nights with no sleep.
As #calfwatch2016 winds down on my family’s operation here are a few lessons I have learned, and probably learned last year and will relearn all over again next year.
The ones you work the hardest to save are usually the ones that don’t make it.
We’ve all been there when it’s our favorite cow, bred just right and the calf came out a “great one.” Unfortunately, it was born in the middle of a snowstorm, the wind is blowing 100 miles an hour and the cow now refuses to come in.
Calving is humbling.
No matter how many calving seasons you have been through or how well prepared you are something will go wrong. But there will also be days where things go very right. I’m reminded of God’s presence in every failure but also in every triumph.
You plan more for your next calf crop then you did your wedding.
My fiancé and I get married in a little over two weeks and I can guarantee we have spent more time talking about next year’s calf crop, what worked this year, what we want to try next then we ever did about the details of our big day!
Though you may over pack for every trip you take, you will never have everything you need in your calving bag.
It never fails, we’ll get in the truck head to one of the calving sheds and the one thing we need won’t be in the calving bag.
Calving season is the best family time.
I learned at a young age that the best way to extend your bedtime was to volunteer for night checks with dad. There was also nothing more exciting than getting off the school bus and seeing what had calved that day and what had been sorted into the heavy pen.
We are lucky in this industry to be able to pass on what we hold the most dear to us to our families. My greatest lessons were learned in the calving barn, working side by side with my family. For that, I feel fortunate.
What lessons have you learned during #calfwatch? Tell us in the comments!
Editor’s Note: This blog post was written by Ashley Middleswarth, Account Manager for Ranch House Designs.
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