When I was little I can remember dreaming about who I would marry, how many kids I would have and what I would do for a living. I was lucky enough to meet the man of my dreams, Ryan, at college, get married and have three wonderful sons, Kale (10), Owen (8) and Max (6). We are two of the very few young farmers that are able to say that we have built our farm from the ground up. We started dairy farming one year out of college, got married and then had our first child all within a year. We have grown up so much in the last 11 years, but we still dream. I dream about what our farm will look like in 10 more years, if my children will go on to school, what their occupations will be and if I will ever be “lucky” enough to be a mother-in-law or have grandchildren. It seems to me that no matter what your age, you always have something to dream about.
I seem to dream about the big picture far in the future. Ryan’s dreams revolve around the farm now and what new piece of machinery he might need. Our sons on the other hand dream “BIG” all the time. I started to notice them thinking about the future while we were driving. Anywhere we go, they watch the fields like a Sunday driver. I hear from the back of the car, “Oh look at that tractor,” or “They’re tanking manure over there.” I could care less what random farmers are doing out in their fields. I have way too many things to think about then what day of the week the neighbor cut his hay. The boys however notice everything and will fill Ryan in when we get home. Weeks after they started doing this, I noticed the loud, “I’d buy that tractor” or “I’d buy that disc.” They actually fought over who was going to buy the equipment in the fields or right out of some farmer’s yard to use on their farm when they grew up. It was kind of comical listening to them fight over who was going to be the owner of this brand new combine in the field, even though one of them just bought the combine a few miles back. It doesn’t really matter if it is a Case, John Deere or New Holland, as long as it runs and looks bright and shiny! Now you can only imagine on a nice day with all sorts of farmers in the field how a headache could happen in just a short drive to town. I encouraged the boys to not be so loud and as with most good things, it finally came to an end.
Seriously now, I have three sons, nothing comes to an end, it only gets more creative. Ryan has lots of things to do during the day running the farm, while I am a work. So when the mail comes, he throws it on the table, eats lunch and goes back to work. Most farmers know that Thursday is farm paper day. Well the paper sits on the table until chores are done at night then Ryan reads it while the rest of us are watching TV. The most the boys have ever looked at the farm paper was when they have to pick it up on Saturday morning to throw it in the recycling. However, recently one of them noticed that there was implement ads in the farm paper. Now it is a race to the farm paper, markers in hand, with large circles in every color of the rainbow with M, O, or a K right next to it. I was so happy that this was a quieter way to dream about their future farms. However, to a farmer who loves to dream about what his current farm might need or who is looking for the next score on equipment, this is a very bad thing!
As a mother I am so proud that my boys strive to have a bigger, better farm then we do. Ryan and I have three tractors, two were gifted to us and the third was an auction score because it went cheap! We have two old and I mean OLD International tractors and a Heston, the cheap one, but it has heat which is a step up from the others. Someday maybe farmer Ryan will be able to swing a (in Owen’s words) big 8-wheeled Case tractor, but in the meantime, he can watch the ads in the farm paper for the next great deal, if he gets to them first!