Have you heard - 2014 has been tagged as the International Year of Family Farming. Beginning in Spain and now picked up by the United Nations, many organizations in the U.S. are coming on board. According to an article in The Capital Press, the effort is designed to: 1) support the development of policies conducive to sustainable family farming, 2) increase knowledge, communication and public awareness of family farming, and 3) attain a better understanding of family farming needs. All sounds good to me. It’s how we live day in and day out around here.
Seth had visitors from back east over the holiday break. East (to us) meaning Indiana, and way east, as in Germany. The visitors were headed to the bright lights of Vegas and Hollywood, but detoured along the way for a western ranching experience. We gathered up all the outdoor gear we could find and outfitted them for ranch chores. They moved cattle on horseback one morning and then drove to nearby Wolverine Canyon for a climbing adventure. Their boots are still drying in the mud room, though I see photos of them on Facebook under city lights.
We have lots of kids come and go on the ranch. Some work for pay, others just want to volunteer and learn. I always worry that we'll wear them out, and some we do. Some decide the romance was ill-founded. Others develop real staying power and learn like a sponge.
There’s a passage in the FFA Creed that goes like this:
I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words, but of deeds. For I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.
Today our own kids helped Mark vaccinate calves and finished up by washing out the stock trailer. Seth told his friend Leah, also visiting the ranch, that scrubbing manure was one of those “discomforts” they talk about in the Creed.
They seemed to be having fun, though. I think it has everything to do with WHO you’re working with and WHAT attitude you decide to employ.
So as you raise your glass at midnight tonight, say one for us, "here’s to family farming!"
|Easterners having an Idaho cowboying experience|