What Family Farming Means To Me

27_57304_fullI am excited to share about our family farm! I grew up on a dairy farm and have always had a passion for animals and agriculture. From a very young age I always knew I wanted dairy farming to be a part of my life.

I loved growing up on a farm, with the opportunity to explore nature, the outdoors and learn so much about how food is made and where it comes from. My love of Agriculture lead me to be very involved in 4H and showing dairy cattle, I showed my first calf in a pre-4H show when I was just 4 or 5. I couldn’t be happier to see how much my kids LOVE growing up on our farm and helping their Daddy with tasks around the farm.

My 4 year-old daughter is already excitedly preparing for our upcoming county Holstein show where she will show her calf Firecracker. She and her older cousin have showed their calves the last three years at our show and they have so much fun doing it and I love seeing the passion and love of cattle being sparked in them at such a young age.

My husband is the fourth generation of dairy farmers on our farm here in Southwestern Ontario. Him and his Dad both work full-time on our farm managing both the dairy cows and the field work. We milk just over 50 cows, and have heifers (young-cattle that has not yet had their first calf!), calves and dry cows (cows that are not currently lactating). The cows are housed in a free-stall facility, which means they are in loose-housing, they can walk around to the feed-bunk, water-trough, or other areas within the barn as they wish.

On our farm, we also grow crops. The primary crops we grow are corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa (hay). The majority of the crops we grow are used for feeding the cows and some of the crops are used to sell to the local elevator.

We are lucky to be a close-knit family and as we raise our children here on the farm they are so blessed to have their Nana and Grandpa living just one pasture field away from us. Their cousins (my sister-in-law’s family) live five-minutes away and are often here too, joining my kids in their adventures on the farm.

I love the lifestyle that we are lucky to live here on our farm. During my summers off, we are able to go out and ride in the tractor as their Daddy is working in the field, or help out at milking time, or just go searching for new baby kittens from our loving barn cats. Farm-life really does bring our entire family closer together and I love seeing the excitement in our kids eyes as they learn so much around the farm.

Luke 9 months, pt. 3-3

Our youngest child, my son, who is now one and a half (just 9 months old in this picture), is such a little farmboy. He loves nothing more than being in the barn, mooing at the cows, “helping” with little tasks in the barn, and his favourite activity of all is riding in the tractor!

 

As I look towards the future of our family farm I hope that someday one or both of our children have the passion and knowledge and love of cattle that my husband has, it would be amazing to watch our farm flourish as the fifth-generation of farmers in our family take over!

Have you ever visited a dairy farm? Do you know where your milk and dairy products come from? Did you know that there are MANY dairy farm families just like ours producing the dairy products you buy in your local grocery store?

 

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