It has been 1,437 miles since my last blog and it is just a week and a half until the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and YFA Conference. I am looking forward to seeing so many members and the excitement that comes with this time of year. As I traveled throughout the district in the past few days, I have had the opportunity to reflect on family.
Now, Webster’s Dictionary defines family as a group of people who are related to each other. I have a very large family: my mom and dad, my sister and brother-in-law, two brothers and their wives, three nieces, four nephews and because it’s appropriate, our trusty farm dog Pepper. It only goes on from there. My mom comes from a family of 13 kids and my dad from a family of nine. So that leaves me with 18 aunts, 18 uncles and 47 first cousins…yes…47. Because math is not my strongest skill, I’m not even going to try to add up the number of kids my cousins have, let’s just say, there are a lot. There is a BIG group of people that I am related to and it fits the definition of family.
Is your definition of family the same as Mr. Webster? Or would you define it differently?
My dad recently found himself between a rock and a hard place. Well, between a heifer hoof and the ground; a pretty scary moment for him and the breeder who was there as they worked to check a couple heifers that needed to get bred. It was at this moment and the days that followed where a new definition of family was formed. Neighbors and friends stopped by to see what they could do to help out, even though they too, probably had quite a few things to get done before we all get buried under a pile of snow. It is those people who can be considered, not only part of our neighborhood, but part of our family as well.
Often, in my job as a district coordinator, I will hear members talk about the Farm Bureau family. It’s not that members fit the “definition” of family, but they are working toward a common goal, leaning on one another when times may be tough and celebrating with one another when there is success. They understand the trials and tribulations of the agriculture industry and are there to listen, share ideas and learn about one another whether it be serving on the board of directors of county Farm Bureaus or participating in various events and activities as a YFA member. It is those relationships that help build our organization and bring the idea of family to the forefront.
As we move into the holiday season, think about your definition of family. Be thankful for the “families” you work with on a day to day basis and from me to you, Happy Holidays!