Farmers DO Care- Dedication and Compassion to Animals

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First winter storm of the season has hit here in southwest Missouri. Winter Storm Cleon (since when did we start naming winter storms?) dumped about eight inches on my family’s farm and brought freezing temperatures along with it.  While many were excited about the snow because that meant no school, no work, being able to stay inside all day and be lazy…I mean who wouldn’t be? As wonderful as these sounds, every farmer knows that snow and cold mean everything but wonderful and lazy.

Busting ice in water tanks – usually resulting in you getting wet in the process; frozen hoses and hydrants – which means carrying water by bucket to your livestock…farm fitness at its best!; excessive straw shaking because you have to make sure livestock will be warm enough; making sure your animals have safe surfaces to walk on – scraping walkways, putting down gravel and other de-icing agents to prevent animals from slipping; having all tools on deck to make sure trucks and tractors run – and always remembering to unplug them before driving off; and having to dress like an Eskimo every time you go outside to get animals cared for and chores done. This list could easily go on and on, but my point is that farmers sure do a lot to make sure their animals are safe, comfortable and well taken care of. calf_snow

One thing that really gets me fired up is hearing and/or reading comments from people saying “farmers really do not care for their animals,” “when will farmers start caring,” and/or “oh, farmers are just in it for the money.” HSUS and PETA also post similar content and I just want to yell, “SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!?!” We know farmers do care. To be a farmer, you have to be passionate about what you do. You have a deep love for the lifestyle because we know it is definitely not an easy one. To hear people say these things is just so hurtful because of knowing the love farmers really do have for their animals.

With all of this being said, I have come up with a list of things either myself, family friends, neighbors, etc., have done for our animals to ensure their well-being is put first. Feel free to smile and nod as you read these because chances are you have done the same thing or know someone who has. If you are a non-farmer, I hope you find a sense of peace knowing just how much farmers love their animals. The bottom line of this list is proving just how much farmers do care.

Here we go…Farmers DO Care!

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  • If a calf, foal, kid, lamb, piglet or other baby animal is born outside on a frigid day and is fighting to stay warm, chances are it will end up in your pickup truck to help it warm up. Also, chances are that you take your coat off to use as a blanket for it. Does it make a mess sometimes? Well of course. Is it worth it? Most definitely because you just gave an animal a chance at life.
  • You have had a calf, foal, kid, lamb, piglet and/or other baby animal in your house at one point to save it. You bottle fed it every few hours. You made sure it was strong enough to survive outside. Once again, was it worth it? You bet!
  • When a cow is calving, a mare is foaling, etc., and is having trouble; you spring into action to try to help her and the newborn out. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, whether or not you are wearing gloves or how “gross” it is, you do whatever it takes to have a safe delivery. (You would not even believe how many calves I have helped deliver in my pajamas, good clothes and even church clothes in rain, snow, storms, cold, heat, etc.!)Cranberry
  • When a pregnant animal is showing signs of delivering, it does not matter what time of day it is, how busy you are or if it cuts into your sleep time. You are checking on her frequently to make sure everything is okay.
  • When you have an animal that is seriously ill, it does not matter how much money the vet bill costs and how financially strained you are. You call the vet. You buy whatever medicines are needed to save that animal’s life. You devote time to treat that animal. It does not matter what the conditions outside are like, you stay – in some cases, even sleep – with that animal in order to help it live. 20131020-204752.jpg
  • Animals are a top priority on the farm. There is just no other way to put it. Christmas morning, presents are not opened until animals have been cared for. If there was animal sick or in labor and needed attention, someone stayed with it even if they were missing a family-get-together, field trip or other event.
  • Animals are like a part of the family. You brag about them, you post pictures of them, you’re just proud of them because of all they do for you and so many others. This inspires you to give them the best care possible.
  • It does not matter what the conditions are like outside, you go out in them to feed, water and care for you animals. Extreme cold and snow? You bundle up and go outside. Thunderstorm? You hope you don’t get struck by lightning and go outside. Pouring rain? You put your rain coat on and go outside. Your animals get taken care of no matter what.
  • After a major weather event and after you know your family is safe, you fly outside to check on your animals. You’re their caretaker and you must be sure they are safe. DSC03635
  • You have shed countless tears after losing an animal you have worked so hard to care for and keep alive. Is it because you are thinking about the money you just lost? No. You cry because you feel you did not do your job in caring for that animal in a better way, even though that is usually not the case.
  • You’re willing to put your own life in danger in order to save an animal. Whether it’s trying to get animals in a barn during a storm, rescuing a calf that fell through ice on a pond or something like doctoring a sick calf while an upset momma cow circles you, you have no fear. It is the animal’s life that you are focused on.1237011_10201744743082350_959991564_n
  • It did not matter if you were sick or injured and the doctor told you to stay inside. You never listened. You had to see for yourself that your animals were all right. Dedication? Yes. Compassion? You bet.
  • You have been kicked several times, chased by an angry momma cow, bucked off your horse, mauled by a bull, attacked by a rooster or whatever else resulting in serious injury. Did that stop you from loving and caring for your animals? Absolutely not. You understand that this is a part of the farming life.
  • Your trusty farm dog is a major part of your daily endeavors. That dog listens to more stories than anything and stays by your side all day. Nobody hurt your dog and you did whatever it took to make sure that dog lived forever.
  • You prayed for your animals. You prayed for their health, their safety and their well-being. They are just that important to you.

224218_2043435207539_3010869_nAs you can see, farmers sure do a lot for their animals. Sad thing about this is that several people do not realize this. Unfortunately, they are simply unaware or have been influenced by something they have seen on TV or on the internet. No matter what the situation is, there is one thing that is clear. FARMERS DO CARE!

Like I said before, farmers love what they do. They have a passion, a desire and a purpose to be the best farmer and caretaker they can be. Their animals represent their livelihood; therefore farmers know they have a responsibility to care for their animals in the best way possible.

I hope this gives you knowledge about farmers’ love for their animals. Farmers, I hope this gives you pride about what you do.

Next time you come across a person who claims farmers don’t care, I hope you think about this post. Do you think farmers would do these things if they did not care? Do you think they are just doing this for the money? I don’t think so either. I urge you to share this to show that farmers care. Let’s show the world that farmers have a dedication and committment to their animals that is simply amazing.

Thank you farmers for what you do. Thank you for feeding the world while putting up with one of the most challenging, unpredictable and underappreciated lifestyles one could have. Farmers, thank you for caring so much about your animals!

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Until next time folks, stay warm and be sure to thank a farmer. God Bless You All!

~Ali

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Comments

  1. Reblogged this on myAGventures.

  2. emilylcounts says:

    Great post! Farming is definitely a lifestyle. Most people have no idea all the work that goes into caring for your animals.

  3. I”m not sure when winter storms started getting names either. A bit ridiculous if you ask me. I’m glad we didn’t get as much up here in STL though. Hopefully it didn’t cause you guys too much trouble (nothing more than braving the freezing cold to do chores and maintain the livestock). Also, thank you for comprising such a long list of the things farmers do for their animals. Hopefully some non farming folk read it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Adam Felcyn says:

    Farmers do care–about getting sentient beings on a slaughter truck. Everything they do is done for the ultimate goal of profiting off the bodies of the animals. Sure, some are nicer about it than others, but in the end their top priority is the paycheck. If they just wanted to help animals by running around in the cold they could start an animal sanctuary. But no, there’s not much profit in that, so they don’t. Interesting, eh?

    • Do you eat? Are you a vegetarian?? Do you wear cloths???? Where do you think these resources come from?

    • Farming, like many other things is ultimately a business. I’m sure when you go to work you enjoy bringing home a pay check to spend on things you need. We have the same needs that must be met. Food, clothing, utilities, etc.
      We raise our animals as humanely as possible. If farmers didn’t care for them many would die of starvation and exposure. Have you seen photos and films of the mustangs out west? they’re currently over populated and dying in masses. Slow painful deaths. The same thing would happen with livestock if just left to run feral.
      While you and I may have do differing views on livestock, many people eat meat and animals products. Livestock farmers try their hardest to humanely meet these needs. If we don’t take care of them, they don’t take care of us.

    • Thanks for visiting my page and for leaving a comment. Our opinions are very different; however, farming is more than just sending our animals to slaughter. Farming is our job, just like you have yours. We do have to make money to make a living. However, our top priority is developing and producing products that are safe and wholesome for the consumer. There is more harvested from an animal than just meat – I encourage you to research everything animal products provide us with. In addition, it is essential for human survival. If you look at the demographics of our nation, you will look that there is a rapidly growing population and a dwindling area devoted to crops and other production agriculture. Animals are a vital part of our food chain – like they have been since the beginning of time. I highly encourage you to visit with farmers and ranchers to see the work and time we put in our animals because they are our priority. You are definitely entitled to your own opinion; however, I hope you will have an open mind and look at animal agriculture and farming in a bigger picture. We care about our animals. We farm to make a living and to put food on our tables for our families. The medium is providing our nation and the world with a safe product. Again, I appreciate you checking out my post! ~Ali

  5. You love your animals so much, you sell them to be killed in the prime of life.

    • Jason Brewer says:

      Yet you eat and utilize infinite amounts of animal products. Yes we kill cattle in their prime, to maximize the amount of healthy usable meat, hide and fat for products. They are not humans, yet we spend thousands on their health and comfort. The key is, they are not humans. In fact, you use animal products to stay alive. Without b-12 humans die. Only animals make b-12. This means vegans don’t exist and their need for animal products is immense. With a growing human population and decreasing airable land, we must maximize the utility of each animal. This means killing them in their prime.

    • We do love our animals. We are dedicated to providing our nation and the world with a safe and wholesome product. When animals are harvested, they are usually in very good condition. For a healthy animal produces the safest and best quality product. The harvesting of animals for food and other products is a necessity in order to accommodate our growing population. Thanks for visiting my page and leaving a comment. We may have differing opinions, but I do respect your viewpoint and hope what I have wrote may have given you a new perspective on this topic. ~Ali

  6. This is great and so true!
    The part about sleeping with a sick animal….so true! One of our Jersey cows got milk fever and we put a big umbrella over her to shade her and had a hose out by her to mist her, since it was so hot. We slept out with her for a few nights so we could keep an eye on her. She made it, and every year after that she would get milk fever. We would give her CMPK gel when she was ready to calve to make sure she would get like that again. We loved that cow. Farmers do love their critters. Like you said farmers have to like what they do and love the animals to be farmers

  7. “When you have an animal that is seriously ill, it does not matter how much money the vet bill costs and how financially strained you are. You call the vet. You buy whatever medicines are needed to save that animal’s life. You devote time to treat that animal. It does not matter what the conditions outside are like, you stay – in some cases, even sleep – with that animal in order to help it live.”

    I find it hard to believe that someone raising animals for food would regularly do this. Each animal only has so much economic value, your entire herd/flock only has so much economic value. If you seriously are going to spent an order of magnitude more on an animal that it will be worth at slaughter (if you can even legally sell the meat at that point) then you probably don’t represent the average farmer who actually makes a living.
    So honestly what is your ceiling on medical costs for a single cow that you are raising for beef? Cows get cancer for example sometimes…would you really be willing to spend $10,000 or more in medical bills alone on a single cow that was weeks from slaughter?

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  1. […] stand for Ag every time I go to a fair and walk through the agriculture buildings. I see how much farmers care for their animals, as well as how much value they put into their products. I see they work hard and […]

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