I used to wonder why TN Farm Bureau had an “age out” limit for their Young Farmers and Ranchers program, now I know. As Brian and I have gotten older (he turned the big 40 last month), we find that we are teaching our kids to become the future leaders in agriculture by being active parents in their lives. As I write this, I am sitting in a cattle barn waiting to help in any way I can for my oldest with her first state cattle show. This has been a family affair as we are all proud of the cattle we raise. But, even I have to admit, my husband and my girls spoil these show heifers (a young female calf that has never had a calf before) more than anything else on the farm.
These lovely cattle get walked like puppies on a lead, brushed/dried/conditioned at least once a day, and hand fed treats. I mean, we take good care of all our cattle, but these girls get two fans and their own radio too.
Having grown up “in the city” according to my husband, some things about being a farm wife and Mom are new to me. However, I thank God every night for being Brian, his family, and his farm into my life.
I have been blessed to meet so many people dedicated to the land and their farms to keep this great country going. But I admit, I face the same fears for our farms future as most people in agriculture. Less than 2% of Americans farm and the numbers are growing smaller, yet we are faced with countless oppositions and fears about the life I love. Yes, I can see that many common things on our farm could be taken as “harmful” or cruel, but I can honestly say that I have never met an American Farmer that set out to be cruel to their land or their animals. These cows are part of our business and just like any expensive investment we care about them.
I am glad to know that my kids are getting this life and guess I am gonna have to continue to engage with others to educate about why need farms and farmers. We need companies dedicated to research to improve agriculture yields. If you missed it farmers will have to produce more food in the next few years for the billions of people on our planet than has ever been produced.
Being a leader means being involved , and I hope leadership in our home starts now at a cattle show.
But more and more consumers fear American Agriculture due to miss information. More and more farms are lost to urban encroachment, Government laws, and the younger generations being unsure of their ability to make a go on the lands they grew up on. Farmers and ranchers are the only business men that I know that buy goods for use at retail then sell their products at wholesale.