As I get older I find myself stopping and reflecting on the many blessings in my life. Over the Labor Day weekend I had the great opportunity of working on my family’s farm, helping to harvest corn silage. While I was waiting for loads to haul I couldn’t help but smile and thank God for how blessed we are to have our family and our family farm. We were able to keep moving with the help of a good family friend who helped us for 2 days when he could’ve been relaxing with his friends. This weekend both of my younger sisters were home helping do chores, feed calves, milk cows and delivering new calves (we had 3 new calves this weekend!). My mom was busy with her job in town but still made time to cook meals for us and bake us treats. My sister in law did the same, making us a delicious meal for supper one night and bringing my niece out to the field to watch her daddy chopping corn. I love my niece, watching her farm girl personality just get ignited by the activities in the field was amazing. The girl really loves her farm implements. My 93 year old grandfather drove out into the field on Labor Day. Watching him smile with pride and joy as his son and grandson farm the very land he and his father farmed together, well frankly that expression on his face was priceless. I will always remember Grandpa's smile and his wave as I cruised past him. I will also remember how proud my dad was to make his dad proud, dad was grinning from ear to ear. Very few professions are linked with this type of legacy and the connection to the generations past, present and future. It was so great to see everyone working as a team to accomplish the goals of the day.
|Putting silage into long bags for storage for the year.|
|I love helping at the farm! Watch me haul silage home!|
Another great blessing for the day was the beauty of watching the growing crops being harvested for food and feed for the growing dairy cow herd. Corn silage is the main ingredient in cow diets. Not to be confused with corn grain, corn silage is the complete plant (stem/stalk, leaves, and corn grain/cob) chopped up into small bite sized pieces for cows. My brother and dad did an excellent job to get the corn harvested at the correct moisture, and then set the chopper for the correct cut length. The result is a feed that smells amazing and will help supply very important nutrients for the cows. Working with nature is such a blessing: planting seeds and watching them grow through the heat, rain, wind, and storms; reaching full maturity to be harvested for nutrition for cows, which produce milk, a nutritious food for humans; it’s a beautiful cycle.
During our harvest my brother has been an amazing farmer. He made sure to take breaks for church and rest on Sunday. He has been planning ahead to have everything ready for the people helping him. He also made sure that everyone is well fed and caffeinated. Even through breakdown my brother kept his cool, fixed the broken parts and we kept on moving. It’s been fun watching my brother grow into a really great farmer, and I am very proud of him. Family and farming is what it is all about and I am so blessed to have been and still be a part of such a great profession! 97% of all farms are family owned and operated just like ours!