Workin’ (Wo)Man Blues

It’s funny how quickly plans can change, especially when you farm.  All week, my husband and I were planning to run some errands and go out for dinner after chores today.  We don’t live close to a Target or any type of restaurant, so running errands is a pretty big event around here.  However, our plans changed in the blink of an eye.  As a farmer, your own needs don’t often trump the needs of the animals; the cows come first and that’s the way it is.  Farming is not a 9 to 5 job; the work never really ends. There are no shifts and there are no holidays.  I wish cows recognized Christmas and New Year’s Day, but I guess they still want to eat and get milked. Who knew? (Insert sarcasm)

Today there were two expecting mamas who decided to go into labor right around our quittin’ time (It always seems to happen that way).  The husband and I couldn’t just leave these mamas, we had to help them and their newborn calves.  Needless to say, we put in some extra hours at the farm and did not get to run our errands or enjoy a nice steak at a restaurant.  I will be dreaming of that steak tonight; this baked potato I’m eating is not quite as satisfying.  Sigh.

I must admit, even after all these years of farming it can still be frustrating when plans fall apart because of calving cows, broken machinery or farm emergencies.  I try to stay calm, but it is not always easy.  I must remember that these animals need me and I need them.   They are my livelihood.  If I don’t take good care of them, they won’t produce and I won’t have any money to buy that steak I’m craving.

Farm drama can make you want to pull your hair out sometimes, but knowing we were able to help the cows and comfort them makes it worth it.  Dairy farming is a business and all of us at the farm must put in the long hours to keep the cows happy.  As I have stated before, happy cows make milk and milk is money!