Recently my Facebook timeline has been full of people doing a “10-day farming and ranching challenge.” A picture each day for 10 days showing what life on the farm looks like but without any explanations. Just a picture, no words.
Now, I know that a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes a little context is a good thing. This week, I am going to take a little detour from our meat safety and quality conversations and share a little insight into what being involved in agriculture has looked like for me.
This time of year is so exciting on the farm because babies are being born! I have so many great memories going out late at night with my dad to see if any lambs or calves were born. Right now, my family is in the midst of both lambing and calving. There have been some extremely cold temps and snowy days the past few months in South Dakota; however, it doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, farmers and ranchers don’t get a snow day. They go to work, day and night, to ensure that their livestock is cared for.
Blue sky, green grass, black cattle, one of my favorite views! Every summer, we bring our cattle to the pasture for a few months. After long, dreary winters, it is so encouraging to see new life, both in the vegetation and in the baby calves!
Putting up hay. Not exactly the most fun job on the farm (or photogenic), but it’s work that needs to be done. Typically, it’s the hottest days of the summer when the hay is ready to be put into the barn. It’s a hot, dusty, job. Storing hay during the summer gives us an ample supply to use during the winter during lambing and calving. Square bales (like what is in the picture), can be used for bedding or as feed, depending on what the bale is made of. It may be a lot of work in the summer, but when winter comes along we are sure thankful that the job got done!
I know that this isn’t a farm picture, but I had to include it. It is still crazy to me to think that someday I am going to be a meat scientist. How crazy is that?! The agricultural industry offers so many opportunities for careers outside of farming and ranching; meat science, nutrition, genetics, and so much more. I am so excited to see where this path leads me and what opportunities lie ahead!
You simply can’t beat South Dakota sunsets! I grew up looking at this view every day. I am so thankful to have grown up on a farm and for all the values that it instilled in me. I learned the value of hard work and how to work as a team. No matter where I end up in the future this will always be one of my favorite views.
Most importantly, on a farm you don’t go to an 8-5 job where you become acquaintances with your co-workers. Farms run on families. Did you know that 98% of farms are family owned and operated? Farming isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle; one that everyone must commit to. Whether it be working with livestock, harvesting crops, putting up bales, or making meals for the people in the field; everyone is involved. I’m so thankful for this bunch and couldn’t have asked for a better crew to call my family.
These are just a few photos are just a snapshot of what life on the farm looks like. I am so thankful to be involved in this industry and I hope this detour gave you a look into the ag world!