“You’re making a farmer out of me.”
I made that remark to my boyfriend when he and I were milking cows at his farm one night a few weeks ago. He beamed at me and smiled as he was moving a milker from one cow to the next. I had no idea how much that statement would ring true as I transitioned into my junior year at UWRF. I began milking cows during the school year. I thought, “Hey, I love cows. This shouldn’t be too hard.”
In my last post, I wrote about how one farm’s operations can vary greatly from another. While diversity is beautiful and makes our agricultural industry what it is, it can make for a steep learning curve. I quickly learned that the hard way. If there’s anything I love as much as writing about farming, it’s doing the real thing. I love farming; I truly do. I enjoy the long hours, the fact that I answer to no one, and how the joyfully rewarding end results of my efforts make it all worthwhile. That doesn’t mean it comes naturally to me. Some people take to farming like a fish in water; I’m not one of them.
I blame a lot of this on the fact that I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I am determined to learn as much as I can. A lot of it is going to have to come from a change in perspective. My aching muscles? That’s just weakness leaving my body to be replaced by strength and resolve. My tired eyes? More like willing myself to get up early and stay up late, and putting others’ needs before my own. My frustration when I screw up? That frustration points to a desire to do a good job. (It also points to an epic lack of patience. It happens when you have copious amounts of German blood flowing through your veins.)
Despite the fact that I didn’t grow up as a farm kid, that doesn’t mean people can’t change. People constantly change and grow, and we grow most when we are challenged.
Agriculture has always been near and dear to my heart, and where my heart leads I shall follow. I may journey down some bumpy roads, but sometimes we need to crawl before we can run. Farming is hard. In fact, it’s very hard and that’s something I’m coming to terms with. Then again life is also very hard and that’s something I’m also coming to terms with.
More than anything, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’ve achieved what I set my mind to and I can certainly do it again. If making a farmer out of myself requires me to use all my physical, mental, and emotional strength so be it. It may take a while, but I’ve got this.
If anyone can make a farmer out of me, it’s me.