A crazy busy summer

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Happy June Dairy month. June is my favorite month of the year for many reasons. 

It is exciting to see a lot of local businesses giving shout-outs to dairy farmers and hosting customer appreciation events. Dairy farmers are especially busy this time of year, tackling the first crop of hay and finishing planting. By mid to late June, these tasks are usually done, and farmers get their first “break” by dairy farming standards.

June is also a beautiful time of year. The weather is perfect, everything is lush and green and flowers are blooming. The smell of fresh-cut grass and fresh-cut hay are two of my favorite scents. Seeing cows out grazing in pastures among the plethora of farms in the area lifts my spirits, showing the vibrant and full-of-life countryside of central Minnesota. 

However, June is also a busy time of year for graduations and weddings. We have some of each of those this month to attend. Both of these types of events are fun family events but quite often occur during chore time. 

Graduation parties are easier because we can do the afternoon chores early, then find time to attend and still make it home in time for milking. 

Last weekend we went to a couple of graduation parties in the area. We had gotten the first crop of hay put up, so we were able to relax and take our time visiting with friends and family. Before we knew it, the time had come to round up the kids and head home for chores. As we were pulling up to our farm, we noticed there was a group of heifers frolicking around the yard, thoroughly enjoying their freedom. Thankfully, cattle are herd animals, and they quickly turned around and ran back up our driveway and back into their pen as we drove up honking the horn of the car. 

While this was a minor issue that was quickly resolved, it still goes to show why dairy farmers are so hesitant to get away from the farm. However, it is important to get away even if it is just for an afternoon. There will always be chores and other tasks to be done, but taking time off to relax and spend time with family and friends does wonders for our mental well-being. 

My husband always says it feels like he has to work twice as hard if we need to take a day or evening off from the farm, quite often adding more stress to his already busy day. Yet, he looks forward to when we do take an afternoon off, especially if it is to spend time with family and friends. No one should have to feel like life is all work and no play. There needs to be a balance of work and free time. 

Farming of any sort is a stressful occupation, and yet every farmer I have met is full of passion for and pride in what they do — and rightfully so. We may all love our job, but there is more to life than our careers. Anyone can be replaced at a job, but nobody can replace a loved one at home once they are gone. 

We have three young children, and while they might not remember all the graduation parties, birthday parties and weddings we have attended this summer, we parents will. Children are only young for so long, and before we know it, we will be hosting graduation parties for our little ones. 

Young people only graduate from high school once, a family member will only get married once and trips with family or friends may not happen every year. So it is important to take time to enjoy these moments with those who care about you. Cows may come and go, but the memories on and off the farm will last a lifetime. 

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