Monday, June 20, 2011

Family Farming

I didn't get to see my dad for Father's Day and I felt bad because I saw my mom for Mother's Day, as it was the day after my college graduation, plus nobody was home with my dad for Father's Day this year.  The older of my two younger brothers is currently at Lackland Air Force Base for basic training and won't be home until November because he has skills training immediately after.  My youngest brother has been gone most of the month with different conferences and on Saturday he left for a boy scout camp.  I've been living in a Minneapolis suburb since the middle of May and my mom came to the Twin Cities area this weekend to attend a graduation party so she decided to spend time with me as well.

Despite not being with my dad for Father's Day, both of my parents have taught me the importance of family.  I believe farm families are especially aware of what it means to be a family and how important it is because they work together and play together.  My mom was a city girl who married a dairy farmer and they had very different backgrounds but both love the farm and have been incredibly supportive parents.

My dad grew up in a large family on the same farm that I grew up on and he always had to work on the farm. He went to tech school for Farm Business Management and joined his dad on the farm immediately.  Even though my dad had to work on the farm, my brothers and I were never forced to do chores, though he would ask for help when necessary.  I learned to drive tractor and feed cows because I wanted to and because I enjoyed it.

Working on the farm with my family brought me closer to them.  I did a lot of things with my brothers and my dad that most families don't do together: picking rocks, unloading hay and moving cattle.  (My mom cannot help much on the farm due to asthma and allergies but wishes she could more.)  Even though we would occasionally still fight while working, we often had good times too.  We got to have fun while working because we were interacting with family.

My brothers and I at YELLO, a state 4-H leadership conference, when I was a MN State 4-H Ambassador.

Besides working together, my brothers and I were all in 4-H, all showed rabbits at some point, and were all in drama in high school.  We're all different and those similar activities were good to have together.  My parents were always fully supportive of everything we were in despite being busy with my dad milking cows and my mom working off the farm most years.

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