A year ago, I became a part time farmer. If I had filled out a resume at the time, my experience would have been limited to helping work around the farm on projects like roofing, running electrical wire, and building fences. As a child and teen, I “collected” small farm animals: chickens, ducks, turkeys, and sheep. I learned how to interact and care for small animals (hence the special place chickens hold in my heart). But to farm, to work with cattle, drive tractors, and work equipment, I have had a lot to learn. This year alone, I have done and experienced more new things than many other years in my 29 (almost 30) years of life. And I have loved it.
I love the stretched feeling your muscles get when you are working hard and using all your power. I love watching and understanding how animals interact and the instincts that drive them. I am intrigued to watch grass grow and learn about managing these amazing plants for the best nutritional output for the cattle. I love the puzzle of the math it takes to figure out how many grazing days we got out of our pasture this year or how many bales we need to feed our cattle through winter. Each day brings a new challenge. Something new to figure out or create or learn.
So I am thankful for the wise experts in my life, my dad and mom, our neighboring farmers, our grass fed beef mentors and many others who have helped to start my education in being a farmer.