Resilience is necessary in farming
The Lawrence Farm has had an extraordinary week. I have been discussing the different aspects of what the farm really means to me for the past couple of columns. Today we will be discussing "R" in FARM and for me it stands for Resilience. Living ...
The Lawrence Farm has had an extraordinary week. I have been discussing the different aspects of what the farm really means to me for the past couple of columns. Today we will be discussing "R" in FARM and for me it stands for Resilience. Living and working on a farm requires a certain amount of continuous resolve.
Currently we are wrapping up our family vacation/cattle show in Louisville, Ky., at the Junior National Hereford Expo. This is the largest junior show in the nation. Our time here has been enjoyable, exhausting and empowering. It is a great opportunity for our children to be exposed to cattlemen and women all over the U.S. with common goals and interests. We will conclude our showing today, load up the cattle and the luggage and drive 12 hours home. This kind of "vacation" is not for the faint hearted. Sleep is not high on the list and hard work and deep commitment are required to take this kind of trip. My children have learned to be resilient. They don't quit. Late nights, early mornings, tough competition: They always bounce back.
All this being said, there was more opportunity to be resilient leading up to our vacation than all the vacation time combined. Leaving the farm for a week at a time is challenging. The preparation time is mind boggling. There are several things this past week that did not go the way we needed them to go so that we might leave the farm. One hundred acres of hay rained on twice despite a clear weather forecast, cattle breaking pasture fences and unexpected equipment breakdowns almost kept us home. At any other time this would just be part of living and working on a farm. But when we are trying to leave, it quickly becomes a mountain that we have trouble climbing. As a family, we took every day and sometimes every moment at a time and worked through each unexpected issue till they were all solved. We did not leave on time and therefore had to drive in the middle of the night, arriving six hours later than planned. And yet when we unloaded the cattle at 2:45 a.m., my kids were still smiling.
Through all of it I gained a fresh appreciation for the resilience of my family as a whole, and the truth of what it means keep moving forward even when it's not popular or fun. So this is where I leave you with my final thoughts on being resilient. Farming is unique and faces many challenges that no other profession ever will. But, in all aspects of life, there will be times when we must stay strong, not quit and keep moving forward. I am so thankful for the life lessons my children gain from understanding the commitment of caring for livestock. In a millennial society, understanding what it really means to never give up is the most valuable lesson one can learn. As farmers, we do it everyday.