@DairyBusiness: Farm-raised and talking to those who aren't
By Kayla Jentz
June is Dairy Month, as we all know. It’s a time to celebrate what we do, what we love.
For many of us, including myself, we’ve received an education from the dairy cow, and for that we should be truly appreciative. I’ll share some life lessons learned in the barn in honor of June Dairy Month, and in celebration of a way of life.
Lesson #1: Life might knock you down
As a young girl growing up on the farm I had my own mini-broom and shovel set which I used on a daily basis, thinking I was “contributing” to getting chores done. I would sweep up and down the aisles of our tie-stall barn pushing the feed up for the cows. One not so appreciative cow felt the need to head-butt me into the wall every now and then. Mom got mad at the cow, I cried a few tears, and life went on. I kept on sweeping ...
Lesson #2: Compassion
My parents had a cow that I happily adopted and named Cora. Cora was one of those problem cows that gave next to no milk and should’ve probably been culled a few times over. She was nothing pretty to look at, but none-the-less I would always find an extra handful of grain for her and give her special attention. She was my companion and my parents couldn’t bear to ship her because of it.
Lesson #3: Heartbreak
I can remember my very first true heartbreak, and it definitely wasn’t because of a boy. I ran to my room crying when my parents told me my first show cow, Loverslane Broker Freckles, would be sold in our county sale. She looked promising and at that point we couldn’t afford not to sell her. My heart mended and I found other cows, but I’ll never forget her.
Lesson #4: There are bigger things in life
I don’t recall the specifics of my first trip to World Dairy Expo, but I can tell you that I was amazed. And, I thank my parents for taking me out of school for the event. Seeing those cows on the colored shavings, wandering through the maze-like tradeshow, and seeing the passion everyone had for one single thing made it all worthwhile. I realized that I probably wasn’t the only kid who grew up in the barn with a mini-broom and shovel set.
These are just a few of the lessons I learned. There are countless others, and I am so lucky to have had those experiences. However, I realize that I am part of a small segment that grew up on a farm.
Many don’t have that luxury (at least I think it is), and we have to deal with those that don’t have the same values or don’t agree with what we do and how we raise our animals. It’s hard to think about life having not grown up on a dairy farm, but that’s reality for most of the world.
I won’t rant on about how that should be applied to social media, but just keep it in mind. Not everyone has had the privilege to be raised on the farm.
- Kayla Jentz is associate editor, DairyBusiness Communications. Contact her via email: email@example.com or phone: 608-848-1420.
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