There is nothing more pleasing than watching my husband with my children and seeing them be smitten with him. Actually, it is the same way I used to feel when I was with him, riding in the feed truck for hours, riding on the four wheeler to go move cows, riding in the tractor or combine with him. I totally understand. It simply makes me swoon. It did then, and even more so now that I watch him with our kids. I get to go along or help less these days, but one day again, when the kids are older and they need me less, I will get to join his side again.
Right now, I love getting to raise my kids and take care of my baby and watch that sparkle in the kids’ eyes when they get to go with Daddy and help on the farm. There is nothing quite like it.
It’s been harvest time, the “fall run” as you may hear farmers and ranchers refer to it. It is probably the busiest time of the year. The beans and corn are mature and ready to be combined and put in the grain bins or hauled to town. We are busy shipping finished fat cattle and buying new calves to start on feed and to refill our feedlot. The mama cows and baby calves born last spring need to be rounded up from the pastures and brought home for the winter. The calves will then be weaned from their mothers and join the other new calves in the feedlot. There is much to do, and my husband is putting in extra long hours. That means lonely suppers with the kids and often times putting the kids and myself to bed before he even walks through the door.
It is still one of my favorite times of the year, even if the schedule is more hectic than usual.
I love the crisp air in the mornings. I love it when we jump in the feed truck for even an hour while he does his morning chores before he heads out to the field to combine. My son, Jennings, who is six years old and in kindergarten, can not get off the bus fast enough after school to call his dad and see if he can go ride in the truck or the grain cart or the combine, even if it just for a load or two. It is exciting for all of us. We get to be part of what daddy does and we get to see and experience the work that goes in to each changing season on the farm.
On Saturday, we will be shipping more fat cattle. Jennings’ calf, White Stripe, is set to be on that load. His calf was born April 9, 2017. He watched with pride as his cow took care of White Stripe.
He went and checked on his cow and calf in the pasture many times that summer, and then watched in the fall when White Stripe went to a pen in the feedlot with the rest of the calves. White Stripe has been in there eating and growing since. Saturday, he will be brought up with the other finished steers and put on a cattle truck to go to the packing plant to become hamburger. This is such an important part of growing up on a farm. It is so awesome and important for him to be part of this experience, to know what we do and why we do it. We are cattle feeders. We work hard all year for moments like the one Jennings will see on Saturday. I hope alongside his dad, he can watch with pride as his calf walks on to the truck.
There is simply no better way in my mind for my children to grow up and learn about farming and where our food comes from than to be right there experiencing it with us. You can not put a price tag on that. We don’t need that billion dollar lottery ticket. We work hard. We have each other. We get to raise our kids on the farm and feed cattle. This is our happy place. Farm life is our life, and daddy is our hero.
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