What the Hay? 16 Random Facts About Hay Season


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Hay season. One of most looked forward to, stressful, glad when it’s over, “fun” times of year that farmers all over the world get to experience. For farmers, it is also a very crucial time of year. For those not involved in agriculture, it is a time of year that is often misunderstood.

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Here’s the ironic fact of hay season: Farmers really look forward to it. They know its importance and know it has to be done. However, things happen. It gets tense. Relationships are tested. Inappropriate words are sometimes said. Objects are thrown in anger. But despite the hardships that are likely to be faced, farmers find a way to get it done and feel a sense of relief/pride when they can officially say, “we are finished.”

So why is hay season so important? Why are so many emotions involved? What exactly is the big deal?

Here is 16 RaNdOM facts that will either A) make you smile and nod your head in approval; or B) realize just why hay season is, let’s just say, so great.

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Hay Season: What the Hay?!?!

1. For as much stress as hay season causes, farmers truly look forward to it. I mean, who would not want to spend endless hours in a tractor humming over fields. Plus, there is something about just sitting in a tractor where you can get away from it all for a bit. (That is, until something quits working.)

2. Yes, hay season is usually at time that many look forward to. But, on the opposite side of the spectrum, it does bring the “best” out in people. You see, when equipment is involved, something is going to break or not work. It is inevitable. And trust me, there is nothing more frustrating than having equipment that does not work when you have acres, upon acres of hay to put up.

3. Hay season is emotional. It’s more like an emotional roller coaster, actually. Excitement, stress, joy, anger. You name it. You feel anticipation when hay season begins, frustration when things do not go as planned and relief when it is over and a variance of emotions in between.

4. Farmers spend endless hours getting hay mowed, raked, baled, (in some cases wrapped) and hauled in. When I say hours, I mean hours. Then factor all the time it takes getting equipment prepared. It is definitely very time consuming, yet very worth it. (You will see why in a minute)

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5. Hay season reinforces the importance of teamwork. It requires effort from more than one person. From the mechanics who work on the equipment to get it running properly, to those who are responsible for mowing, raking, wrapping and baling and then to those hay hauling crews who bring the finished product in – hay season makes you work together even though there are times you want to strangle each other.

6. During this time of year, less time is spent resting. The time it takes to bring in a hay crop is excessive and usually entails early mornings and late nights. Lack of sleep may lead to grumpiness so it is advised not to take anything personal ;-)

7. It definitely tests relationships whether it be parents/children, siblings, couples, friends, etc. When things are not going right, there is a lack of sleep and you are racing to get the job done, things can get pretty tense. But on the other hand, it does lead to some bonding time in some cases where some of the best memories are made with those you are closest to.

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8. Hay season is fully dependent on the weather. When it is too wet, fields become flooded which affects forage growth. When it is too dry, forage growth is also impaired. With the exception of hay that is baled for silage (it can be baled with more moisture), most hay require time to dry. Dry, low-humidity, warm conditions are ideal for hay to properly cure and be in ideal shape for baling. Therefore, rain is an enemy. Sometimes, farmers will work through the night in order to get hay up before rain hits. In addition, rain means a higher risk of equipment getting stuck. Needless to say, the weather forecast becomes a farmers best friend during this time of year. And take note – do not interrupt when the weatherman is on TV and a farmer is watching it. (Thank me later :) )

9. Hay is a hefty investment. A lot of money is spent on equipment, supplies, labor and time – the most precious commodity of all. With so much money being invested, it is important for things to go as smoothly as possible. In times of drought and hay is scarce, it becomes even more expensive when hay has to be purchased from an outside source. There are several economic factors that many forget to consider.

10. So some may be wondering, what makes hay so important? The answer is quite simple. It is a very important food source for our livestock. It serves as an alternate food source during times of drought or during the winter when grass is limited. For some livestock, hay is their primary diet. The bottom line is that hay is a very crucial element in the diet of livestock, one of our own primary food sources. Farmers need it and livestock need it. Enough said.

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11. There are some that make their living off of selling hay; therefore it is their livelihood. It is a profession that puts food on the table for some. Plus, these folks supply farmers and other livestock owners with this precious food source. They are important too!

12. During hay season, a farmers yard becomes a mini tractor/equipment lot. There are mowers, rakes, balers, tractors, trailers, trucks, etc. And sometimes, you will catch a farmer just standing in admiration of that equipment. (It’s okay, we have all done it.) Farmers realize how important that equipment is. Plus, there is something about this equipment that just makes us feel good.

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13. Round bale vs. square bale. These are pretty self-explanatory. Bales, both square and round, can come in a variety of weights and sizes. Each farmer has their own preference of what works best for them and their operation. Random side note:  bales become a popular play place for farm kids. There is nothing like climbing all over bales or running over them. And for us adults, let’s be honest, it is pretty fun to stack bales in the barn.

14. For many, hauling hay (especially square bales) is fun. I know it sounds bizarre, but seriously, hauling hay is enjoyable. Yes, it may be 90 degrees in the blazing sun, but there is just something about picking bales up in a field, loading them on a trailer and hauling it to the barn. In most cases, you haul hay with those you enjoy spending time with, so memories are definitely made. Plus, it is a GREAT workout. Farmer fitness at its best. And hay hauling serves as an additional source of income for many.

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15. Even though this is irrelevant to the overall purpose of hay, hay season sure is good for the senses. We all know that there is no greater smell than that of freshly cut hay. Plus, there is something about seeing tractors in fields pulling equipment that is just neat to watch. The view of round bales dotting the countryside over rolling fields is something that really cannot be beat. I know this sounds strange, but hay season really is a beautiful time of year.

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16. Finally, there is no greater feeling for a farmer than seeing barns full of hay. When one can officially say, “that is it,” a farmer knows that the hours of hard work and the money spent was all worth it. The feeling of knowing your livestock will be fed and that you are prepared for those extreme weather conditions is one of the greatest feelings for a farmer.

As you can see, hay season is a very crucial and great time of year. There are several factors that influence it and there are a lot of things at stake. It is a very crucial aspect of every livestock farming operation. 

I hope that this has brought some amusement in the lives of farmers and some reiteration of how important this season is. Plus, I hope this has allowed you to go down memory lane to some of the stories you have of your haying experience. For those who were unfamiliar with hay, I hope this has been informative. I also hope it will serve as an eye-opener to respect that hay equipment that may be causing slow-downs on the road. Hay is definitely important that really impacts all of us when you really think about it. As always, remember to thank a farmer. Farmers, thanks for all you do.

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Happy haying!

God Bless You All!

Until next time…

~Ali

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Dating a Horse-Lovin’ Girl: 10 Truths You Need to Know

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Horse girls. There are a lot of us out there. We can be called crazy, different and slightly obsessed. But, here’s the deal. We really do not care what some people may think of us because one thing is for certain. We love horses and nothing is going to change that.

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For many of us, horses have been a part of our lives for as long as we can remember. (A lot longer than any guy that is for sure.) Our lives revolve around the equine species. Countless hours have been spent and devoted to them which has made an influence on the type of person we have become. Horses are our passion and will always have a part in our lives.

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Whether we use our horses to make a living or for recreation/fun, it must be understood that they have an utmost level of significance on our daily lives. We love them and they love us developing a special bond that cannot truly be explained.

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So, are you still interested in dating a horse girl? Here are 10 pieces of advice that you need to be made aware of.

1. Let’s first state the obvious. If you are not a fan of horses, then chances are you will probably not be a good match for a horse girl. Let’s face it. When you date a girl who loves horses, chances are you are going to be spending some time around – you guessed it – HORSES!

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2. Horse girls devote a lot of time to horses so you cannot get overly jealous. We will go riding whenever we can, we enjoy going to equine events, we will travel to shows and/or other equine events, and we like just simply spending time with our four-legged babies. You must accept the fact that horses takes us to a level of happy that nothing else can.

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3. We have a horse (or horses) that mean the world to us. We trust them with our lives and have a special connection with them. The saying of “Love Me, Love My Horse” is definitely something you need to remember. And whatever you do – don’t ever, ever suggest getting rid of that horse no matter what the situation.

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4. Our horses are our pride and joys. We constantly talk about them and how awesome they are, we post pictures of them more than anything else, they are usually the background of our phones and desktops, etc. Don’t get annoyed. Instead, be a good guy and praise that horse too :)

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5. Horses are expensive. Just like how you have your expensive hobby (truck/car, hunting, fishing, etc.), we spend our extra money on our horses. They need to eat and have a comfortable/safe place to stay. They require a mode of transportation. They need shoes, vaccinations, vet care, and the list goes on. Plus, good tack and equipment is required. So just be aware, that they do cost a lot of money and in many cases, that is where a lot of our hard earned money is spent. (With no regrets may I add)

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6. I will be the first to admit that we want our horses to look good and be equipped with the best tack possible. (For safety and appearance reasons.) We look through catalogs a lot, browse online and visit tack shops pretty regularly. Truth is, we spend more money on accessories for our horses than we do on ourselves in many cases.

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7. While we are on the subject of these accessories, here is a little nice tidbit of advice for you. Yes, we are like any other girls and enjoy flowers, chocolates and other sweet, thoughtful gifts. However, if your really want to sweep us off our feet, get us something related to our horse. I can assure you that you cannot go wrong with that! (You can thank me later.)

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8. Even if you have never ridden a horse or been around them much, you will need to accept the fact that if you date a horse girl, this will probably change. You see, we really like it when you are willing to go ride with us and WANT to follow us at our shows, performances, competitions, etc. And when you do go with us to these events? Do not be a grump. If you really like us, you will be happy to be spending time with us while we are doing something that makes us so happy. Show up, be happy and shoot, even be willing to give us a helping hand. Trust me, it will mean more to us than you will ever know!

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9. Hopefully, you are not scared off yet. :) Dating a horse girl does have some perks as a matter of fact. Owning horses teaches us responsibility, which we all know is a very good attribute. Horses teach us areas of our own selves that we need to improve on. (In my case – patience, slow to anger just to name a few.) Plus, we can lift 50 lb. bags of feed and haul hay bales around. We know what it means to work hard. Plus, it is pretty cool that we can handle 1,000 + pound animals and teach them to do pretty awesome things.

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10. So, now I am going to be super blunt. If you are thinking of a long-term relationship with a girl who loves horses, here is the deal. Horses will always be there. What does this mean/require? A house with a barn and acreage. A truck and trailer. We are always going to want to have horses in our lives. They make us who we are and truly make us happy. And if kids ever come along, guess what? Chances are, they will have an interest in horses too and the cycle begins all over again. :)

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Whew, this is probably a lot to take in for some. This was not intended to scare you off, but to just give you a small insight into a horse girl’s world. (And what a wonderful world that is!) Plus, if you are fortunate enough to date a horse girl, you now have been equipped with some tips that can really act in your favor – again, you can thank me later!

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Truth of the matter is, there are no other girls like us. We are one-of-a-kind. If you can handle the love we have for our horses, then you will be in for the ride of your life.

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Until next time…

Ali

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Before You Date A Farmer: 10 Things You Need To Know

Originally posted on myAGventures:

Less than two percent of the American population are directly involved in production agriculture (aka farming). With such a small population of farmers, it is a fact that several do not understand the farming lifestyle. I then got to thinking how several people out there really do not know what it takes to date a farmer.

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I have had friends who farm that complain about how people they date just do not get it. They do not understand the commitment farming requires or that amount of time it takes. They do not understand that it is a priority or do not get the fact that it is a lifestyle. This list can go on and on. So I, being a blogger and having a farming background, decided it was time to write a list about some things one needs to know before dating a farmer.

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Farming is more than the annoying stereotypes…

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Before You Date A Farmer: 10 Things You Need To Know

Less than two percent of the American population are directly involved in production agriculture (aka farming). With such a small population of farmers, it is a fact that several do not understand the farming lifestyle. I then got to thinking how several people out there really do not know what it takes to date a farmer.

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I have had friends who farm that complain about how people they date just do not get it. They do not understand the commitment farming requires or that amount of time it takes. They do not understand that it is a priority or do not get the fact that it is a lifestyle. This list can go on and on. So I, being a blogger and having a farming background, decided it was time to write a list about some things one needs to know before dating a farmer.

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Farming is more than the annoying stereotypes of overalls, pitchforks, old trucks and the overall Old McDonald picture a lot of people get in their heads. (Cannot forget about those ridiculous Farmers Only commercials!)  Let me quickly remind you that farming is what puts food on our tables at a reasonable cost. Farming is what feeds us; therefore let me be the first to say that dating a person who is responsible for helping feed you is legit. But as I said before, there are quite a few “attributes” you need to be made aware of.

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Are you prepared to date a farmer? Let’s find out…

  1. When you date a farmer, you have to realize that the farm IS the priority. If you think you are going to date a farmer and be the only important thing in his/her life, you are mistaken. You see, the farm is the livelihood and it is the farmer’s responsibility to care for it. 

  2. Farmers work hard, long hours. They work from sunrise to sunset and sometimes even longer depending on the season. (We will get to that next.) There may be days when they are not able to hang out with you or take you to dinner because they have a farm to care for. 

  3. There are certain times of the year when farmers are so busy they may not have a lot of time to spend with you. Hay season, planting season and harvest season are examples of when farmers literally work all day and most of the night. These are stressful times of the year when sleep is limited and stress is high meaning you have to be open-minded and supportive. 

  4. When you date a farmer, expect plans to suddenly change. You see, farming is not like a typical 9-5 job. It is a 24-hour a day job. Even if you have made plans, those plans can abruptly change. An animal gets sick, a tractor breaks down, fence needs fixed and the list can go on and on of similar farming emergencies that must be taken care of. Sometimes, plans are ruined, but like I mentioned before, the farm comes first. 

  5. Sometimes a night out on the town may be later than what you are used to. Where most couples go out about 5:30 or 6:00 to go to dinner and a movie, a farmer usually is not able to go until after all the chores are done. This may be annoying for some; however, this is reality. In addition, the times you celebrate holidays are all dependent on the farm and occur in between/after chore times. 

  6. Sometimes, dates may be a little different than what you are usually used to. They may be riding around in the truck checking cows and/or other livestock, checking fields to ensure they are in good health, riding in the tractor baling hay, hauling hay, cutting wood, sitting in the machine shed working on farm equipment, etc. These may not sound like dates to you, but in a farmers world, they are some of the best dates one could ask for. 

  7. When you date a farmer, there are several topics you must get used to talking about. The weather (it has a HUGE impact on farming); livestock (You hear all about animals being born, how they all are doing, and honestly, sometimes the stories you hear are not always rainbows and butterflies); tractors (You learn terminology you never even heard before and even why some colors of tractors are better than others); market prices (A farmer, just like any other person, strives to make a profit, so knowing the market trends is important); just to name a few.

  8. Here are some random things you need to know about a typical farmer and the farm life. Their farm truck is very important…never “bash” it. They usually have a dog or another animal that they are quite fond of, so do not get jealous. They are almost always willing to give their neighbors a helping hand, even if it means being late to something you had planned. They understand the importance of being frugal with money because of the risks and unpredictability of the farming lifestyle. And on the more funny side of things… You cannot be completely grossed out by animal poop, the unpleasant smells that sometimes accompanies farms, etc. 

  9. In many instances, farming is a family affair. A majority of farms are family owned and operated; therefore this should not be a surprise. With this being said, you have to be willing and able to get along with your farmer’s family, no matter what. They spend a lot of time together, so chances are, you will to. And a farmer is extremely proud of upholding their family’s tradition…

  10. Even though it may sound like a bit of a challenge/different experience to date a farmer, if you are willing to put up with their lifestyle, as well as be supportive of it, you will find it is quite an honor. This sounds cliche’, but it is true. Farmers are becoming more of a rarity and they are such a huge part of each of our lives. On the flip side, farmers, if you find a person who understands your lifestyle and are not afraid to work alongside you, you have found a keeper!

The truth of the matter is, farming is a lifestyle many are not familiar with. For some, it is quite a shock to date someone who farms due to the fact farming requires so much time, commitment and hard work. Farming is not for the faint of heart and dating a farmer does require understanding and patience.

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Coming from a farming family, having several friends who farm and personally knowing many farmers, I can honestly say that dating a farmer may not always be easy, but to the right person, it will be worth it.

Hopefully this post has served as an eye-opener for many. In addition, hopefully it has led for you farmers who are reading this to nod your head in approval or even say “YES!” out loud. And even for those of you like me who are still searching for that someone who understands the farming lifestyle, just be patient because that special someone is out there and will come into your life at just the right time. (At least that is what I have been told.)

So, if you are able to relate to this, feel free to share! Feel free to comment with your own “Before You Date a Farmer” advice. This has seriously been a fun post to write, so it is my hope you all had some fun and laughs reading it. :)

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Until next time…

~Ali   :)

Brad & Gail Groves Dairy Farmers Billings, MO

Brad & Gail Groves
Dairy Farmers
Billings, MO

Christmas on the Farm: A Different Kind of Normal

It’s Christmas time. Family, food, gifts parties are all elements of the holiday season that millions of people enjoy. The anticipation of waking up on Christmas morning and seeing what “Santa” brought you is something you look forward to. We wake up out of our warm beds and run to the tree to see what gifts await and then start opening them. Paper flies, cameras flash and shrieks of excitement fill the room. It’s a pretty picture right? DSC07922

You are probably wondering where I am going with this. Why am I writing about a pretty normal Christmas morning? Well the reason is because I never had a “normal” Christmas morning. Wait, what? You read this right. I never had a normal Christmas morning. I had what I consider a different kind of normal morning.

Courtesy of Farming Memes located on Facebook

Courtesy of Farming Memes located on Facebook

Now you are probably really wondering what I am insinuating by making a statement of this nature. The truth is, on Christmas morning, my family and I worked before we opened presents. Yes, we worked and I never, ever complained.

You see, I was raised by a farming family. (Yes, I was one of the lucky ones who can say this!) We had a dairy farm and just because it was Christmas morning, never meant we could put the farm on the back burner. We often hear farmers say, “On Christmas morning, we did not open gifts until the animals were cared for.” To fully grasp the concept of what this statement means, I wanted to emphasize it to show just how important this is.

No matter the day, our animals have to be cared for. They are our upmost priority, even on Christmas

No matter the day, our animals have to be cared for. They are our upmost priority, even on Christmas

Here is how a typical Christmas morning was for me, and for many of you who are reading this. Alarm goes off before the sun comes up and the alifamily gets up and heads out the door. Cows are ready to be milked and fed and the calves are bawling for their morning meals. Dad heads to the barn while mom tends to the calves. Three little blonde haired girls tag along helping as much as they can and hurry to the house to wait for their parents to arrive so they can open their treasures. If they are lucky, they can open gifts before 10 A.M…

This may sound cruel to some or it may not even make sense. How dare these parents make their kids wait to open their gifts on one of the most exciting mornings of the year?!?!

Whether you are/were a farming kid, farming teen or a farming adult, Christmas morning began as just another day on the farm. cherry bomb

In all honesty, I am so glad I learned to wait to open my gifts on Christmas morning and I am sure glad my parents made me wait. There are so many lessons this taught me and so many other farmers out there, such as-

Responsibility: Just because it was a holiday, did not mean that we could shut the farm down like it was a typical business. 10479189_10203831985182098_3634652475703811621_nHolidays are just another day on the farm. We could just not tell our livestock that they had to fend for themselves because it was our vacation or an important date on the calendar. Christmas was no different. Even though there were gifts under the tree and family dinners to go to, we had to take care of our animals. We had to be responsible. We had to be the caregivers we were designed to be.

Patience- One of the most difficult things in life to learn is patience. As a kid waiting to open presents on Christmas morning was a difficult task; however the overall lesson learned is irreplaceable. My sisters and I learned that we just had to wait patiently and not complain. My parents had to exercise patience in knowing they had three anxious girls in the house waiting to open their gifts, but having to get their chores done outside first. Overall, patience was learned which is a truly valuable life skill.

Sometimes, learning patience was hard...

Sometimes, learning patience was hard…But looking back, is was worth the lesson!

Priorities- As farmers know, your farm is one of your top priorities. It was your livelihood and your passion; therefore it came SAE Project---Dairy Placement Photo Courtesy of- Dakoda Baxter, son of Jason and Becky Baxter, Billings FFA Chapter- Missouri first. My family’s farm was no different. It was a priority to care for our animals in the best manner possible. Like I have mentioned before in this post, Christmas morning was no different. We fed and cared for the animals before our gifts were opened. If that is not dedication, I do not know what is!

Family- It was a general rule that gifts were not opened until our entire family was back in the house. Granted this is the case for a lot of families, but we stuck true to this rule no matter what. If one of my parents had to stay outside longer to tend to a sick animal or fix fence, we waited. It was a full family effort to run the farm; therefore it was going to be a full family affair when we opened our gifts. Family is so important and embracing the entire family moment on Christmas morning truly nailed this point home.

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Dedication- You know, farming takes a lot of dedication and passion. You truly have to love what you do in order to deal with events such as a delay in opening gifts on Christmas morning. I think it says so much about farmers who can stand and say they tend to their farm first before gifts are opened. What this taught me growing up, that in order to be successful you have to be dedicated to your purpose. In my family’s case, our purpose was ensuring our animals were well taken care of in order to have a successful and prosperous farming operation. Farm 078

As you can see, Christmas morning in a farming family is not like a lot of families’ Christmases. However, I consider it a different kind of normal. More like a farming kind of normal. I knew no different growing up and looking back, I cannot complain one bit. I am honored to say that my Christmas mornings consisted of farming and caring for my animals first and opening my presents second. I am honored to have had parents to show me how the farm takes priority and how important being dedicated is. Learning these lessons is just further proof of how much of a blessing being raised on a farm was for me. 168298_1795752055615_1580732_n

With Christmas being just hours away, I just wanted to write this post as a way to show the world just how much farmers care for their livestock and just how unique the farming lifestyle is. In addition, I wanted to provide all you farmers out there a chance to take a trip down memory lane to your own farm Christmases. Plus, I wanted to remind all of you just how great you are for caring for your animals each and every day, no matter what holiday it is.

What are some of your fondest Christmas morning memories? What were your experiences? How were your Christmas mornings on the farm?

I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas. Farmers, thank you for your dedication. For you farm kids, as tough as it may be to wait to open your gifts, remember you are some of the few who can proudly say you waited to open your gifts because your parents farmed. Trust me, you will be so thankful for this. I know I am. 10815773_10205044243247792_1855737899_n

Until next time…

God Bless You All and Merry Christmas!

~Ali

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Living the Farm Life: 20 Life Lessons the Farm Instills

Originally posted on myAGventures:

Having the opportunity to have been born and raised on a farm is truly a blessing. Growing up on a farm has taught me so many values and life lessons which have molded me into the person I am today. The truth is, those who have had the opportunity to have been raised on a farm or currently reside on one, understand this concept fully. There is absolutely no doubt, we are lucky. Why? What makes growing up and/or living on a farm so great?

Well, the answer is not as complex as one may think. In fact, the answer is quite simple. The honest truth is there is no other lifestyle like it. There is no other lifestyle where one can learn and be responsible for so much, while fulfilling the role of feeding the world. Pretty remarkable, huh?  2014100495174705

Previously, I have created a post about the truths of growing…

View original 1,351 more words

Living the Farm Life: 20 Life Lessons the Farm Instills

Having the opportunity to have been born and raised on a farm is truly a blessing. Growing up on a farm has taught me so many values and life lessons which have molded me into the person I am today. The truth is, those who have had the opportunity to have been raised on a farm or currently reside on one, understand this concept fully. There is absolutely no doubt, we are lucky. Why? What makes growing up and/or living on a farm so great?

Well, the answer is not as complex as one may think. In fact, the answer is quite simple. The honest truth is there is no other lifestyle like it. There is no other lifestyle where one can learn and be responsible for so much, while fulfilling the role of feeding the world. Pretty remarkable, huh?  2014100495174705

Previously, I have created a post about the truths of growing up a farm kid and how the entire experience is so unique. Now, I want to take it to the next level. Now I am striving to show the world just how amazing living the farming experience is.

So what does farming teach a person? Read these twenty life lessons to find out…

1) Nothing compares to the value of hard work and a strong work ethic. This is something that will never leave you. Hard work is required on a farm. If you are not willing to work, your farm will not survive; therefore you learn at a very young age just how important hard work is and how far it will take you.  DSC00364
2) Nothing comes easy. For all who have stepped foot on a farm can attest to the fact that farming is a tough lifestyle. There is really nothing easy about it. It is a 24/7 job, which a concept not a lot of people can wrap their heads around. You then learn that in order to accomplish something great, you must be willing to take a path that is far from easy. You cannot ever take the easy way out. 168298_1795752055615_1580732_n
3) You will do whatever it takes to keep your family’s tradition alive. Think about it. 98 percent of farms today are family owned. Many farms have been passed down from generation to generation. You learn the importance of your family’s tradition and then will find the desire to uphold that tradition. Your family is one of the most important things in your life, so you will do whatever it takes to protect the heritage. 2011 024
4) Responsibility. Farming teaches you this imporant quality. As a farmer, you are responsible for so many entities; therefore, you must develop responsibility to ensure the needs of your farm are met. You then learn that responsibility is important in everything you do.


5) Priorities. Your farm comes first. If you have a sick animal, you stay with them so that you will save their life. You have hay down and a storm comes. You drop everything to get that hay in. Sometimes, this means you must miss out on normal life events – parties, family get-togethers, etc. You do whatever it takes in order to keep your farm successful. You learn to prioritize. 2008 is Great 032
6) Importance of faith in farming. Farming is hard, there is no question about it. In order to continue, you have to have faith. You learn that faith is the basis of every endeavor you face. 4
7) Fully appreciating God’s works. Living on a farm provides you the opportunities to witness several of God’s works. Sunrises, sunsets, births of newborn animals, watching a mother caring for her young, watching your kids grow and prosper on the land you have worked so hard on, watching your crops grow… God works every day and you are lucky enough to witness it. new baby
8) Essence of listening. Farming requires listening. You listen to your heart to know what steps to take. You listen to your gut when making decisions. You listen to your animals to know what it is they need. The truth is, you become a person who can listen which is very hard to come by. Farm 078
9) Working for future generations. You are the one not only responsible for feeding the world for years to come. You are also the one responsible for doing what it takes to get your children to follow in your footsteps. You are working for them. 20140829_165445
10) Concept of achieving a goal. You set goals – when you want your hay cut, when you want to get your planting done, how many calves you want to send to the sale barn, and the list goes on. In order to meet your goals, you must have a plan in place and the willpower to follow that plan. You have determination to achieve the goal and the rest is history. 7
11) Problem solving and critical thinking. Each day, you are faced with a challenge. You have to learn how incorporate critical thinking in order to solve problems in the most efficient way possible. ice 07 025
12) Care and compassion. You have to have this in order to be a successful farmer. Farming takes someone who is caring and compassionate. There is just no other way of putting it.  6
13) Being a caretaker – family, land and livestock. You are the one responsible for caring for your family, your land and your livestock. You play a huge role in so many different ways, which makes the farming lifestyle that much more exceptional. 975738_10201201608424323_1289800375_n
14) Understanding the value of a dollar. You become conscious of what it takes to have strong monetary skills. In addition, you quickly learn that life is not all about money. You learn that there is no monetary value on happiness; therefore proving you are not farming to just make money. You farm because you love it, which teaches a valuable lesson regarding everyday life. Not everything is about money… 1016244_10201392292111296_1643819930_n
15) Never giving up. Persistence is key in the life of a farmer. No matter how high feed prices get, how much fuel costs or how low the market prices get, you have to push through. This persistence shows through in every task you face. doc
16) Being humble in good times and strong during the bad. As with anything else, there are going to be good times and bad. With farming, it is so important to stay humble when things are good because in a blink of an eye, things can turn south. More importantly, you learn that you must stay strong during the bad times. The way you handle bad times encompasses how you will get through. It will make you stronger to endure more challenges for years to come. starbright
17) Knowledge and wisdom. The amount you learn – from basic remedies to solve everyday problems on the farm, to medicines for your animals, etc., each day provides more learning experiences that makes you that much better. Cranberry 045
18) Respect – elders, land, animals, etc. You respect those who have farmed before you. You respect the livestock and land that allows you to provide for your family. This is something that will never leave you. photo 2
19) Importance of agriculture. You quickly learn your importance. YOU are the one responsible for putting food on tables all over the world. Without agriculture, we would not survive and you completely understand this. 12973_10201593605023993_1495218490_n
20) Knowing the character being a farmer instills into you is something you will never be able to replace. With fewer and fewer people being directly involved in production agriculture, you understand your worth. You understand you are a rarity. The pride you have for your lifestyle inspires you to work hard to be the best person you can possibly be.  5342_201789796644687_27104960_n

 

As you can see, growing up on a farm reaps benefits that follows you throughout your life. It is something you learn to be proud of and you are sure to thank God every day for the opportunity you had or have to be a farmer. Unfortunately, not a lot of people get to experience this. Not many people “get it.” However, for the few of us that are left, it is up to us to protect the farming lifestyle. It is up to us to protect our heritage and ensure families have food on their tables for years to come.

We truly are special people. We truly are a gift. As farmers, we have a purpose. As farmers, we have values in which cannot be replaced. 11

Are you proud to have grown up on a farm? Are you proud to still live on one? I hope this has served as a reminder just how incredible, yet tough, the farm life is. If you are proud to be a farmer, I encourage you to share this post. Show everyone you know just how amazing farming is.

Remember just how special the farming life is and as always, be sure to thank a farmer.

Until next time…

~Ali

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P.S. – Have a safe and Happy Halloween!!!!

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A Tribute to Farm Moms

A blog post dedicated to farm moms everywhere in honor of Mother’s Day.

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In case you forgot, today marks a very special day that honors all of our wonderful mothers. Yes, it’s Mother’s Day. When I think of this today, I cannot help but think of my own mother. Even my grandmothers, my aunts and other women who have all been major influences in my life. What do all these women have in common? They are all farm moms.

By growing up on a dairy farm, I quickly learned how much hard work and dedication it takes to be successful farmers. My parents worked their tails off day in and day out just to be sure enough money was rolling in to keep the farm afloat and provide for me and my two sisters. I cannot help but think and admire all the work my mom put in. (Yes, my dad did too; however it is MOTHER’S Day so moms gets the glory today. All of you dads out there, you will get your turn next month!)

Often times, the role of a farm mom gets overlooked. We tend to forget how much work our moms have to do as 1) a farmer’s wife and 2) a farm mom. They work hard. They put their heart and soul into everything they do. They seriously are the backbones of any farming operation. Farm moms are usually the ones who always hold the pieces together and the first ones to say “Everything is going to be all right.”20131122-121808.jpg

Let’s face it, our farm moms out there need some time in the spotlight. Well, here is their opportunity. As you read this post, I encourage you to think about the farm mom and/or moms in your life. Think about everything she has done for you while you were growing up and/or everything she continues to do for you. Farm moms are truly unique and one-of-a-kind because they truly wear so many hats. From raising the kids, to filling in for dad when needed, to some days spending time doing farm chores and other duties one the farm, our farm moms truly are rock stars. So, here is a tribute to all of you farm moms out there. It’s a poem that attempts to display just how special farm moms are and how many responsibilities they have. I hope you enjoy this, and I really hope you will share to show the world just how awesome our farm moms are.

A Tribute to Our Farm Moms

by Alison Bos, MyAGventures

A farm mom is not your ordinary mom;

She is one who works hard from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn.

 

She is loving, caring and tough as nails;

And is even  dad’s number one helper  hauling hay bales.

 

If daddy gets sick and cannot do chores;

A farm mom is the first one out the door.

 

She keeps track of records and make sure everything is right;

To always ensure the future of our farm is bright.

 

A farm mom also cooks the most delicious meals;

Sometimes so good, we have to wonder if it is real.

 

She works in the garden, cleans the house and helps out with farm chores;

And of course always makes sure her kids are never bored.

 

She worries a lot and always makes daddy make her a deal,

That he will watch us carefully while he takes us working in the field.

 

A farm mom also tends to the sick animals we face;

She takes care of them with such compassion and grace.

 

If her children or husband are sick, hurt or not feeling swell,

Our farm mom will do whatever she can to make us well.

 

She hauls us to fairs, shows and maybe even rodeos;

And always make sure we are in presentable clothes.

 

She does the laundry and makes sure we always have everything we need;

And teaches us to never be disrespectful or show greed.

 

As we get older, we soon understand;

That to have a farm mom as a mom makes us the luckiest kids in the land.

 

A farm mom is the most unselfish woman we know;

Always putting her family and farm first before herself, don’t you know?

 

She can ease our worries and dry our tears.

And chase away our deepest fears.

 

As the days pass by and the years drag on,

A farm mom still continues to remain strong.

 

Through good times and bad,

She always stands firmly right beside dad.

 

Truth is, we need more moms like her;

Because a farm mom is a real treasure.

 

Farm moms, we can never say thanks enough;

As we know your lifestyle is extremely tough.

 

As a farm kid, there I one thing I can boldly say.

My farm mom will always brighten my day.

 

Next time you (farm mom) are feeling a little overwhelmed and distressed;

Please remember that as a farm mom, you truly are blessed.

 

Thank you farm moms for everything you do.

For being a great example and supporter, just to name a few.

 

Thank you to my farm mom for everything you have done;

As you have shown me how the game of life is won.

 

So to all you farm moms everywhere,

Please realize that there are truly none others that compare.

 

As I look to the future, I can clearly see,

A farm mom is exactly who I want to be.

 

Now if you are a farm boy, don’t shy away,

Because you know you want a farm mom as a wife someday.

 

Truth is, we truly cannot deny;

Farm moms are the best, and now you have an explanation why.

 

As you can see, our farm moms do A LOT. It is my true hope that this poem can serve as a reminder to our farm moms out there that they are so amazing. I encourage you to share this poem with that special farm mom in your life. I cannot fully describe the roles farm moms play in farms and farm families all over the world. They really are some of the strongest women out there.

When I reflect on my childhood, I really cannot see how my mom was able to do so much for my family and our farm. A typical day for her would be to wake up early, do chores, fix breakfast, get us to school, come home, clean house, do laundry, help my dad with any other tasks around the farm, pay bills, get us to any activities/events we needed to get to, do evening chores, fix supper, help us with our homework, and the list goes on and on. (Whew!!!!!) What is amazing about this? My mom never complained about her role. From what I understand, this is a common trait among farm moms everywhere.

Thank YOU Farm Moms!!!

Thank YOU Farm Moms!!!

Farm moms, I truly cannot say thank you enough. Your hard work and efforts truly are appreciated. Even though you may feel a little underappreciated at times, let it be known that we really do not know what we would do without you. Your role is respected. You deserve much more credit than you receive. Always remember that!

I also want to give a personal shout-out to my mother. She is my rock and the woman who has inspired me to be the woman I am today. I am so blessed to have her as a mother, and I thank God every day for her. In addition, thank you for my grandmothers and my aunts for also being a positive role model, as well as excellent examples of how a farm mom should be.

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Happy Mother’s Day to every mother out there, especially to you farm moms. Enjoy your day, try not not work too hard, and take a moment to understand just how special you are.

Until next time, and God Bless You All!

~Ali

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Farming Frustrations

Here’s some things that drive farmers crazy

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Sometimes things happen…and our first reaction is simply, “Ohhhhh snap!”

We all have those “things” that just drive us plum crazy. Some of those things cause us to be late, cause us to spill a drink or just cause our day to go from bad to worse. Getting hung up at every stop light, getting behind that person driving slow in the fast lane, putting on a piece of clothing and realizing there is a huge stain or even realizing you are completely out of coffee. Bottom line is there are just “things” that frustrate each one of us to no end.
So, since this is a blog dedicated to agriculture, I decided to come up with a completely randomized list of different “things” that specifically drive farmers crazy. Or better known as “Farmer Frustrations,” as I like to call them.
For all of you farmers, you probably will be able to completely relate to this list. You will probably even think of several more. However, I just wanted to come up with a list to give everyone an insight as to what we have to deal with on a daily basis. FF_15
Here is MyAGventures’ list of Farmer Frustrations…
• Let’s talk about those lovely garden hoses that we use each and every day to get water to our livestock or to our crops. FF_10
– There is hardly anything more frustrating than a hose that constantly gets a kink in it. That means you have to put down the hose, walk to the kink, walk back to the hose which is spraying water everywhere at this point which in turn gets you soaked. It happens all the time.
– While we are on the subject of hoses, during the winter months, they are pretty much useless. And let me be the first to tell you that once a hose is frozen, it is going to be frozen for a while. FF_blog
– I know most of us have been guilty of leaving water running somewhere and forgetting about it. Example: You are filling up a water tank and think, “Let me run and do this real quick while the tank is filling.” And, of course, we forget about it, tank overflows and creates somewhat of a mess. (Don’t even try to deny the fact that you have probably done this!)
• Now let us discuss the inevitable problem of forgetting to close a gate. Admit it. If you are a farmer, you have been victim of this mistake.
– It seems as if you always forget to chain a gate when 1) you have places you absolutely have to be; 2) when the weather is not in very desirable condition ; and 3) it is to the pen where you have livestock that is the ones who don’t like being caught. FF_7FF_3

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Yes, it is all fine and well…until the tractor won’t start

• We’ve covered the topics of garden hoses and forgetting to close that gate. Now let’s move on to the subject of that complete feeling of despair when that trusty piece of equipment – whether it be tractor, farm truck or whatever else – won’t start.
– Scenario: You are fixing to start something major. Planting, mowing hay, etc. You get in the tractor seat, get ready to fire the engine and… nothing. Talk about a major bummer! So that puts you even farther behind. Story of our lives right? But all you can do is smile, get ‘er fixed, and try again. (After a few choice words of course)
• Most farms require the feeding of hay. Many times, farmers have to feed bales of hay by hand. Nine times out of 10, when a farmer proceeds to throw that flake of hay to their livestock, the wind is always blowing from the opposite direction. What does this entail? This means the farmer gets completely covered in pieces of hay – in their eyes, hair, clothes, you name it. It is definitely not pleasant.
– Also, have you ever been hauling hay and have a bale bust? Bottom line is hay is a major part of livestock farms; however it does bring some headaches along with it. 635_10201149542602710_513969476_n
• We have already mentioned the frustration of leaving a gate open somewhere. Now we can move into the frustration of fixing fence. It is part of the farming life; however, there is hardly anything more frustrating than having to take time out of your busy schedule to fix fence.
– I don’t know about you all, but any time I think of fixing fence, barb wire immediately comes to mind. If you are a farmer, chances are you have been cut by a barb wire fence. It is pretty tricky stuff to work with! FF_6
• Now let’s talk about those little annoyances provided by good ole’ Mother Nature. I’m talking varmints, weeds, and those kinds of things. FF_8Critters getting into grain, mice tearing up feed sacks, thistles taking over hay fields, weeds popping up in crop fields, the list goes on and on. These nuisances are once again, just a part of the life.
– I will also include rocks in this farmer frustration. Ever try to dig a post hole and have rocks get in your way? Pretty frustrating. Has a huge rock ever tore up a piece of equipment? Definitely frustrating! FF_9

 

  • I will put this in here for everyone who has had the opportunity to raise a calf on a bottle. It seems as if there is nothing more frustrating than a calf who will not nurse from a bottle. Your back hurts from bending down to attempt to feed it. You want to give up, yet you know the calf needs the milk to survive. You feel oh so helpless, and oh so frustrated. Andddd when you do get it to nurse, then we have a whole new frustration to deal with… hunching. 224218_2043435207539_3010869_n

 

  • And I will put this in the list for all you who have horses on your farm. All I can say is there is nothing more annoying than having a horse you cannot catch. That is all I am going to say… FF_2

 
• Okay, now to move on to the next farmer frustration. This one is more of a serious matter; however I could not leave it out. This frustration is thievery. Farmers are the victims of so many cases of theft. From livestock to equipment, thieves target farms on a regular basis. It is completely sick if you ask me!
– I think I can speak on the behalf of many that if you are attempting to steal from a farmer and you get caught, I would hate to be in your shoes. (You would wish the police would have got to you first.) The fact is, farmers do not mess around.

I hope this list has brought a smile to your face of has made some realize just a few challenges farmers face on a daily basis. There is no doubt that we all encounter frustrations on a daily basis that impact our daily schedule; however I just wanted to point out some specific issues farmers do face. Yes, these issues can make a person get mad, say some not so nice words and maybe even throw some things. However, at the end of the day we realize that things could always be much worse. At least that is what I was taught. Kaci 072
So the next time that frustration presents itself, remember to take a breath and just smile. I know it is much easier said than done; however these frustrations are going to face us whether we like it or not.
I hope you got some entertainment out of this! It was definitely an entertaining piece to write. If you can relate, feel free to share it! Also, leave a comment of a farmer frustration you have experienced on your farm or ranch. I’m sure you can list many more! FF_18
In closing, I just want to point out that no matter how many “farmer frustrations” a farmer/rancher is faced with, they still have the dedication and commitment to keep pushing forward. Farmers are truly the most resilient people you will ever meet and endure so much in order to provide you (consumers) with an affordable, safe and wholesome food product. These frustrations may get in the way sometimes; however I know farmers would not trade their lifestyle for anything. FF_12
As always, thank a farmer and God Bless You All!
~Ali

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A Letter to My Farm Family: Thank You for Giving Me the Farm Life

163245_1770898914302_3973129_nYou know, we can read and write blog posts about growing up on a farm or living the farming dream. I want to take it a step farther. I want to honor those who have inspired us and given us the opportunity to grow up a farm kid and for some of us even pursue our own dreams of owning our own farm. So, I decided to write a letter dedicated to those who have instilled the farming/agriculture gene within us. Whether it is parents, grandparents or other family members, this letter is written especially for them.

Several people ask me why I have chosen agriculture as an area to study and pursue a career in. What is the number one reason why I selected this industry to base the rest of my life on? The answer is my family.

A Picture of the Fulp Family at the 2010 Ozark Empire Fair

A Picture of the Fulp Family at the 2010 Ozark Empire Fair

Dear (insert your farming influence person here) for me, it is my parents and grandparents:

Thank you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be born into a farming family. Thank you for allowing me to spend my childhood growing up on a farm. Thank you for teaching me about how important agriculture is.

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Growing up a farm kid has been such a blessing that I did not realize until later on in life. I learned about how hard work is important and about taking responsibility. I learned that there is nothing more peaceful than a country sunrise/sunset or more rewarding than watching a newborn animal be born. On the flip side, we learned that life is not always fair. Losing animals, witnessing accidents, experiencing years of pure bad luck… I learned early that I should never take anything for granted. I learned that I should never give up. Most importantly, I learned that there is so much more to farming than what meets the eye. Farming is an important part of every single person’s life.

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As I grew older, I may have seemed as if I was unhappy with our lifestyle. I may have groaned when you made me go outside in the freezing cold to check livestock or when I had to get up early in the morning to go feed. I would get upset if I could not go out with one of my friends because we had hay to bring in or work around the farm to be done. I know it appeared like I did not care; however little did I even know, I was actually just getting molded for my future.

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When the “real world” got closer, I realized that farming and agriculture is in my blood. I am just as passionate about it as you are/were. I realize that I want to make it my future because you have made it apparent to me that farming is important and agriculture was my future. It truly is the only way I know; therefore there is no doubt in my mind I want to be a part of the industry for the rest of my life. The moment I realized that was one of the most refreshing and relieving feelings I have ever felt.

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Yes, I do realize that this lifestyle is not easy. It is not a career that holds guarantees. It is not something by which I will be able to make so much money that I will live in a mansion or drive a fancy vehicle. Truth is, I know there will be times when I will wonder how I will survive or get by. There will be times when I will feel like I have run out of options. There will be droughts, floods, storms, blizzards and other natural disasters that will affect my career. There will be years when fuel/feed prices are high and my output prices will be low. There will be several obstacles that will stand in my way. With each day, there will be new challenges. You have shown me this. You have taught me how to handle it.

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You see, I have learned from you. I have been watching you. I have been taking mental notes. You have been my mentor and my role model. During times of hardships, I have noticed how you never gave up and how you always found a way to keep your head held high. The stress, the tears and the heartache… It is all inevitable in this lifestyle; however you have taught me that the passion I hold for the farming lifestyle burns strong enough to fight the fear of giving up. Your example of strength and courage through those hard times has been engrained in me. I am prepared because of you.  On the flip side, the joy you had made me realize that you loved what you did. You were happy, and I realized how I want to be happy too. How would I be happy? By following in your footsteps and following the farming dream.

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Let’s talk about those good times a little more.  I will never forget the look on your face after a good harvest or after you saved the life of an animal. You have taught me that along with the heartaches, there is great joy in farming. We had so many good times, so many laughs and so many precious memories made. From the moment when I drove the tractor for the first time by myself to the moment when you left all responsibilities on the farm to me when you left for a few days, there were so many moments that I will never forget. This is what the farm life is truly all about. This is what has inspired me to follow the same path you did. I want to experience those things too. I want to experience it all.

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During the good times and the bad, I know I must always remember why I chose this lifestyle. I chose it because 1) I want to keep my family’s tradition alive; 2) I want to do my part in keeping food on peoples’ tables all over the world; and 3) I could not imagine my life being any other way. You are the ones responsible for this mindset. You have taught me so much and I am so thankful for that. I could easily go on and on; however I want to end with the valuable lessons and responsibilities you have taught me.

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First of all, to be able to make a living in the agriculture/farming world, I must be passionate about what I do. Secondly, I must be resilient and willing to push forward, even when the future looks doubtful. Next, I will not be successful unless I am willing to work hard and remain dedicated, as well as committed. I must also make farming a priority. Lastly, I must always keep a strong faith and pray to God constantly for the productivity, safety and well-being of my operation. Faith in farming is so important!

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Thank you again for raising me on a farm and inspiring me to continue your tradition. Thank you for allowing me to realize that I want my own kids to someday experience what I did. Thank you for laying down a pathway for my future. Most of all, thank you for being a great role model that I will aspire to be like every single day.

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I love this life, and I could not imagine it any other way. I seriously cannot thank you enough.

Much love,

-The future of agriculture

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If you are thankful for growing up in a farm family, share this with those who have influenced you. Share this with your friends so they can realize just how valuable this lifestyle is to you. So many people do not realize how much more there is to farming and how much the farm life teaches us. We are hard-working, passionate and driven individuals who are responsible for feeding the world.

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Until next time, God Bless our Farmers and God Bless You All!

~Ali

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