This I Believe

Katie - paris, Kentucky
Entered on December 10, 2007

I believe that life on the farm helps prepare you for life. Living on a farm is very different from living in the city. While on a farm you see and learn many new things with each day that passes. I have seen medical issues with the cows, financial problems, and learned things that will help me in the business part of life. There are always unexpected surprises that leave you dealing with them for the rest of the day, although you had not planned to. An unexpected surprise that we have had is a cow having a twisted stomach and almost not living through it. Living on the farm also gives you many obstacles and challenges that you must learn how to face, just like anywhere else. You are challenged with knowing the right things to do in emergencies, the right bulls to breed your cows to, and the obstacles of something not going like you had hoped.

I have been raised on a dairy farm since I was 6 years old. With everyday that went by I not only learned one or two things but so much more that would help me later throughout my life. I started driving a tractor when I was 8 years old. Ever since that day I have always drove something whether it be the tractor, the four-wheeler, the gator, or even my step-mom’s jeep up and down the drive way. With these driving experiences I have almost hit my dog several of times while backing out in the jeep. This only happens because he stands right under your tires not caring enough to move out of the way. I had learned so much about driving before I was even 14 years old. With all the experience I had I was prepared the day that I turned 16 to take my drivers test and pass with ease. At the same time I had a friend that had always grown up in the city and did not have a clue about driving. She didn’t know the many little things that you must do in order to operate a vehicle.

Life has so many unexpected surprises that everyone must deal with whether you are prepared to or not. Since living on the farm I have become use to those surprises that not always turn out to be good. You never know when a cow might slip and fall on the concrete and then you have to work all day to try to get her up and save her life. Think about it that is about 1,500 pounds hitting solid rock concrete causing all 4 legs to split out from under her. After that your entire day is gone with the many other things that you had planned to do like cutting hay, spreading manure and other jobs on the farm. But you must put those other things in the back of your head and move on doing what is best for the operation. There are also those times when a cow will abort a calf months too soon and then you must start all over again with breeding her and hoping she haves a beautiful, healthy baby. These things have prepared me for when life gives me so many surprises that I must deal with calmly and understandably. Lets say you have a had a trip planned that you are so excited about and then something happens that you are faced with and this leaves you missing your trip. You must put the trip in the back of your head and move on. You have started on typing a 5 page paper and you are almost done and relieved to be done. Then your computer shuts down and it is all lost. You must turn on the computer and start all over again, hoping that the next paper will turn out better. Throughout the past 12 years of my life I have learned to deal with these types of surprises well, thanks to the many things that go on while operating a farm.

There are many times that the milk check is low and the cost of feed is high and this puts my family in a financial situation. Since learning how to deal with this challenge we know that we must work harder and move forward. The hardest times of all is the thought of do I sell this cow to make the money my family needs or do I keep her because she is such a good cow? I recently experienced this when my dad and step-mom sold a cow for $125,000. Although she was my favorite cow and one of the best on the farms, we were faced with the obstacle that we needed the money and we needed to do what was best for us. She was a good cow with a good pedigree but if we didn’t take the money then we took the chance of maybe something happening to her or losing her. These compare to the times when my mom was laid off from work and she had to work harder in finding another job and moving forward in order to help our family financially. You have a beautiful new car in your drive way that you know you can sell to make plenty of money that your family needs to pay bills. Do you sell it to help your family or do you keep it because you like it so much? The decision is yours but I have faced these challenges and know what’s best to do.

Although the many years of my life living on a farm has been very challenging, sad, and rough at times, it has all paid off in the end. The farm has taught me so much that helps me to be able to move forward in my life and make decisions that will need to be made when dealing with challenges. I have experienced both living on a farm and in the city. My mom lives in the middle of town and my father lives in the country on a farm. Between the two different living conditions I can honestly say I have learned much more from the farm life.