There will be several times today I ask myself the same question, am I strong enough for this? The tone will change and the question will sometimes morph into an answered statement, but it’s truthful that in almost every task and challenge I underestimate myself, whether right or wrong I assume I’m not alone.
A year into our dairy farm I was debating the idea of going back to college. We decided that it would be a few years of pulling our lives in too many directions and instead we could just focus on our business of farming together. Fast forward to now, he went back to school because despite our best efforts our business isn’t making money, and one of us is gonna need to work off the farm or we need to sell the kids 🤔 tough call….
My husband’s role on the volunteer fire department has given him the drive to pursue a full time position, and with that the need to finish the necessary schooling. Volunteer first responders need to take the required fire courses, full-time departments generally want applicants who have completed Fire I and II and are also EMT certified. In September Brad started his EMT course in Ogemaw County and once his final test is passed he will begin searching for a paid position on a department, most likely an hour away from the farm.
How will we make this work? Don’t worry our lenders and I are wondering that too… day by day is my best guess. I’ve learned how to feed the animals and complete the daily operating chores. I’ll be running the farm with the help of our friend who milks part of the week with us. This farm is ‘female farmer strong’ and while it might take two of us to push the round bale out of the truck while Brad does it alone, the work still gets done.
I’m really proud of him for putting in the extra hours, studying when he always hated school, and putting his family first. He’s my favorite person, obviously, but he also inspires me to work harder, which is dumb because I hate working harder.
I’m also really thankful for all the female farmers who I look up to, the stories of women who ran the farm while their husbands drove truck, the women I follow who bucket wheel borrows of feed into the tie-stall with three littles in the barn. These women are my inspiration. These women give me confidence that this change in our farm IS possible. That I am strong enough, smart enough. Here I am, tip toes on the starting line to this change in our life…