I live on dairy farm with my husband and our two kids; Allison is 2, and Carson is 10 months. My husband, Jason, farms with his brother, Dan, and together, they milk 80 cows. I help out when I can, but our two kids keep me busy after I get off work at Dairy Star. Jason and I agreed the farm is a great place to raise a family. We live on his home farm.
I grew up on small dairy farm in central Minnesota, so I was familiar with the dairy farm lifestyle. I knew what I was getting myself into when I married a dairy farmer. I was your average farm girl with all the 4-H dairy cattle showing, FFA dairy cattle judging and dairy princess waving. Before we met, I knew I wanted to stay involved in the dairy industry but wasn’t sure if the dairy farm life was for me. There had to be something out there for me to stay connected with the industry. I wanted to broaden my horizons and find something that best suited me.
I started to travel internationally and went on two exchange programs. One was through my high school German exchange program, and the other exchange program was right after I graduated college. The latter was an agricultural youth exchange program, International Farm Youth Exchange. The biggest thing I learned while abroad is though we may speak a different language, all farmers have the same mentality. Farmers take the utmost care of their animals, are good stewards of the land and, most importantly, raise a loving family.
During my travels, I read books on the plane and in the trains, and I also started to journal. I have always loved to read, but it was my high school German teacher who encouraged us to journal while we were abroad, sparking my enjoyment of writing. I even started a blog when I went on my three-month trip with the IFYE program.
Now, I don’t get to travel as much because we have two young ones at home, but I get to write for Dairy Star and am excited to see where this next chapter takes our family.
My daughter loves when I read stories to her. Every night, after supper, she proceeds to scour the living room to find books and brings them over to Jason or myself. Once she has buried us in all the books within eyesight, she crawls onto the couch or recliner onto the lap of the chosen parent, adjusts her blankie and selects the first book from the pile. This pile is usually anywhere from six to 10 books, and she will not let us get her ready for bed until all of the books have been read. If Carson is awake at this point in the evening, I scoop him up and put him on the other leg of Jason or myself. As I start to read the first book, Carson turns his focus to putting the books in his mouth. It may be a struggle to hold the book in my hands, a toddler on one leg and an infant on the other as I sit in the recliner, but I still do it as often as I can.
I may not get to read books for my indulgence anymore. Now, I get to read books for my kids’ indulgence, which is even more important not only for their developmental learning needs but also for the memories. I hope my kids enjoy reading, writing and growing up on a dairy farm as much as I do.