Wednesday, January 2, 2013

No Sick Days for Dairy Farmers

Heifers enjoying the bright sun on a frigid Minnesota day.
Well, I'm back ;)  Part of my 2013 resolution is to get myself back in the blogging mode!  So to start my year out we are!  2012 was chaotic and busy, but hopefully will lead to a less stressful 2013.  I'm sure many of you are recovering from holiday celebrations, as we are, but we are also trying diligently to stay healthy.  We found out recently that we were exposed to Influenza A this weekend at a family gathering.  In dairy farming there are no sick days.  I can remember my father milking cows with a bad case of the flu, and I have done the same. 
I find myself washing my hands for a few more extra seconds, making sure I'm taking my daily vitamins, and also enjoying a little more Vitamin C in my diet. If we (Farmer Jon and I) were to get sick, there would be no one readily available to feed the cows, feed the calves or bed in everyone.  Sure we have employees hired to milk cows and help with clean up in the parlor...but it's the rest of our daily tasks that make the biggest difference for our cows.  Hopefully, in the coming years we can train other employee to cover these tasks for us, but for sick days for us....well until next week.
The second reason we're being extra cautious about getting sick is that Jon is scheduled to have surgery next week.  After battling through 3 years of sinus infection, after sinus infection....daily headaches of varying degrees of pains and unbearable ear pressure....Jon is finally having surgery on his sinuses.  The surgeon made it sound incredibly successful, so we are hopeful, but the surgeon also made the procedures sound painful and potentially life threatening.
Jon will be forced to stay in the house for at least 1 week, and be on limited farm duties for 3-8 weeks depending on how he heals.  This is no easy task for a dairy farmer to do.  I know already it is going to kill him to be "locked" in the house for that long, only to watch me run around the farm covering his chores.  BUT...I also know that if he is a good patient, he will heal faster and return to work sooner.  So in the coming weeks please help us pray for Jon's quick recovery & successful surgery....our cows are depending on him (and me too!).