Monday, February 14, 2011
Dairy Farming & Marriage, a Tough Mix
6 years ago we started farming together, and a few months later we were married. During that time I held a full time job as a dairy nutritionist and farmed with Jon part time. Then, 2 years ago when I quit to farm full time. When we decided to move me to full time farmer many of our friends and family thought we were crazy. We are both stubborn leaders, with equal amounts of passion for what we do....it was a recipe for fights and arguments. I assured everyone we knew what we were getting into....and I was right!
I married my best friend, who I have known since childhood. I have been blessed to be able to farm beside him as an equal partner. Dairy farming is VERY stressful on a marriage relationship. There have been times along the way where dairying has challenged the strength of our bond and determination. Whether is was the cow calving just as we were leaving for a date or the tractor breaking down just as we were finishing for the day. There are many stressful moments in farming. The financial stress of farming is another challenge. These past 6 years have been a financial struggle to say the least. No matter what we faced though, and no matter how scared we were, we have made it through. There have been fights and disagreements, but I would never in a heart beat trade off the chance to work with Jon everyday.
When I was working full time, I was constantly wondering what Jon was doing or if he remembered to do a task I had left for him that day. Often I would come home and ask him how his day went and I would get the "fine" response. Oh, how angry I would get with that! I knew he did more than "fine" that day, but he never told me. Now, I have the opportunity to be there for his daily challenges, and that is so rewarding for us. We are a team, each bringing to the table a different set of skills and traits that make us good at what we do. I love the fact that we can milk cows in the morning together, split to do other chores and jobs on the farm for the afternoon, and return in the evening to milk together again. It's very rewarding to share those times together and spent that time apart. We laugh together all of the time. If it wasn't for laughter I don't know how we would get through the tough times.
So for this Valentine's Day, just like others, I am thankful to be married to my best friend, who I know will be there as a teammate in life and on the farm, through sickness and health, good times and bad...always be my side. How bless I am!!!