what matters to us

Farming can be a lonely business.

There's no running down the street to Target, no swinging past Starbucks on your way home from work, no "Oops. I forgot the butter. I'll just run over to Wal-Mart and nab some."

Neighbors can live miles away.

Even the night-time darkness, with no street or city lights to flare up the sky, can feel isolating.

So when farmers get the chance to get together with other farmers, to talk about the silly things calves do and the way the dirt smells when the sun starts to warm it up in spring, to chat about their families and churches and why they work 14-hour days, to discuss the new silage chopper in the machine shop or the puppy they rescued from the side of the road, they usually do their darndest to take it.

And it's why the dairy ambassador workshop, hosted by Midwest Dairy Association, was such a treat.

Registered dietitians, farmers and dairy moms got together for a too-quick 24 hours to talk about what they love: eating, animals, people and . . . did we mention eating?

It was a time to think through and articulate why we take care of the ground we work each day, why we see to the health and welfare of animals, and why it's good to talk about those things that matter to us.


It got us thinking about why our dads farmed and why their dads farmed and their granddads before them and why we want to make sure that our kids--if the Lord chooses to bless us with them--have the opportunity to love rich Iowa and Missouri soil and hogs and cows and chickens as much as we do.


It reminded us that even though there aren't that many farmers out there, we really respect the ones we know, and we're anxious to learn from them. 

It taught us that it's a noble vocation we labor in each day, getting food from our farm to others' tables.  Because, even though we don't really think about it when we're zipping through the store with our carts and lists, all that food in the grocery store had to come from somewhere! 

Chris talks to Midwest Dairy Association workshop attendees about why farming, dairy and agriculture make for great conversation.  

And as we worked through all those ideas, we realized that we've got a pretty good little life going.

We may not be able to order a venti frappuchino with extra ice on our way home from work, but we don't have to worry about traffic. 

We may not have a Target nearby, but it makes stopping there an extra special treat when we do. 

We may have to wait a day to get the butter to make the cookies we were craving at 9:00 p.m., but then again, that carrot we pulled out of the garden was pretty tasty too. 

We may not be close enough to chat with our neighbors over the fence, but we know for sure we'll see them in church on Sunday.

And while we may not have quaint lampposts to light our drive home, we do have the stars and constellations, and we're still pretty in awe at the way the Lord formed those (Job 9:9).   

And so, as we think about it, it turns out we're not so alone after all. 


{Did you go to the MDA workshop? Link up below or in the comments!}


10 comments:

  1. As a fellow dairy farm wife, I enjoy reading about your experiences! I wasn't at an MDA workshop this week, but I was at a different dairy meeting. 'Tis the season! ;)

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  2. I love this post. Thank you for sharing your perspective as I know I take so many things for granted. I loved the workshop as well. I wish we could have had more time together as I didn't even get to officially meet you! =)

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  3. Great post! So glad we could meet yesterday, and share the breakfast table too. I have enjoyed the Midwest Dairy Workshop the past 3 years and each year it gets better (and I thought it was amazing the first year :).
    I appreciate the enthusiasm, friendliness, and eagerness to share, from all the dairy advocates. Super job Chris. And you said you weren't a speaker...bologna!

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  4. I love the things you write about here. We are only hobby farmers, but live among dairy farmers in Maryland. It's the little things we seem to have more time to pay attention to here (I say as I watch the sunrise through my kitchen window) and the appreciation for those who work so hard in their God-given vocations to provide for all of us. When we moved here, other folks, especially non-Lutheran homeschool families, wanted to know if we'd be "homesteading." We didn't quite see how that went along with serving those around us and allowing others to exercise their vocation in serving us. ;-)

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    1. We've been saying a post on homesteading might be in order. :)

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  5. It was fantastic to have crossed paths with you earlier this week, but I'm sad to have missed the opportunity to actually shake your hands! I love this post - hits close to home, even though I've been off the farm for almost a decade and a half. I'll be sure to check in frequently here, as any connections back to my roots are ones I value dearly. And, in the meantime, thanks for keeping up the #dairygood commitment you hold to food production!

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  6. I was amazed how wonderful the workshop was!! There was many a time when Nathan and I took over the farm I asked him "Why was this a good choice for our family?" I see our young son learn and respect the animals and the land. I see him play with his toy tractors and know which piece of equipment needs to go in the field first. Watching him play with calves and the "freedom" he has growing up on a farm. My question is answered.

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  7. So well put! Simply beautiful. It was great to meet you, and I'll be following along with your little house on the dairy. :-)

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  8. Thanks, ladies! It was lovely to meet all of you and to realize--even if we all knew it but had forgotten it--that we're not in this alone!

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  9. Awww! I totally agree with everything you said. Living in a farm is simple, yet the comfort and happiness it can give to a person is incomparable. People in that kind of environment are less problematic, because the nature serves as their antidote to relieve stress. Anyway, thanks for sharing such a wonderful read! All the best to you and to your family!

    Kevin Kelley @ Ronald Harris Ravens Worth

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