I was just signing up to join a web community of young farmers and was asked on the survey, Why do you farm? Those four little words really got me thinking, and here’s what popped out!
Farming is a natural evolution of my first career in animal welfare. Instead of making life a bit more tolerable for animals in humane societies, I now foster partnerships between livestock and the local ecosystem that improve the land’s resiliancy while giving the animals fulfilling lives. I love the daily opportunities for creativity and innovation and am so grateful for the strong bonds that quickly form between new and experienced farmers in our local agricultural community. My schedule and duties are never predictable, giving me an incredible freedom to take advantage of perfect afternoon running weather and yet a deep sense of responsibility to meet the needs of the livestock at any hour. Accomplishments are measured on both a much larger and a much smaller scale than in our mainstream society, continually keeping me both challenged and satisfied. Most importantly, I don’t have to leave my dog sitting at home as I trudge off to another day on the job, but open the door each morning to a calling that is hardly a job at all, with coworkers who only wear carhardts and smiles, and many more who sport suits of fur and feathers. This type of farming is a dynamic, frustrating, loving, co-dependant relationship – though I couldn’t tell you if the farmer is the parent or the child.