Compassion and Love: What Ag Week Should Really be About

We all know that dairy life is hard. It is trying physically and mentally. Especially right now with the milk price. 

I have been quite sick the last week and a half. For someone busy and used to being out in the barn a lot, this has been killing me. I can only do so many dishes and loads of laundry before I start going nuts. But I have to say this is the best part of working in such a family oriented business. When we need help, everyone is there to support us, help us out and build us up. 

My parents and employees have been helping me greatly with my work. My mom has been bringing my husband and I dinner. They genuinely care about my well being and making sure that I get fully recovered. 

This philosophy is so true for all of agriculture and rural communities. When we have a tragedy, our neighbors and friends come and help. They help fix whatever is broken. They help heal whoever is sick. They help finish the work that needs to be done. 

They do it out of the kindness of their hearts and because they genuinely care about everyone's well being. This is not common throughout the world and I think we often forget it. There are so many beautiful things about the rural, farming lifestyle. The support of our friends, family and fellow farmers are one of the number one things. 

I cannot tell you how much is lifts my heart to see neighbors helping move cows after a farm's parlor burns or their barn is destroyed in a tornado. Or what about neighbors helping to harvest crops when a family member dies or milk the cows while someone is sick and fighting for their lives. These things just don't happen everywhere. But they happen here. In rural America. 

It is the end of National Ag Week. We have talked about our safe, nutritious food supply. But what about the love we grow and share? The children we teach to have compassion for animals and people? These are the things that demonstrate who we really are. 

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Comment by Betsy Fleury on March 25, 2015 at 1:57pm

Ashley, you are so right about the benefits to living in a rural, farming community! That's what helps makes farm life so rich and rewarding. Steve and I have seen the affects first hand! When Steve had his by-pass surgery, the neighbors all offered to help. When we had our heifers escape their pasture, our large farm neighbor rounded them up and trucked them back to us using his own hired help and cattle trailer. When Steve buried his tractor in a wet field, the same neighbor used his larger equipment to pull our tractor out. And we have  "payed it forward" when we had the chance. Steve helped several of our small farm neighbors round up their loose animals. He helped the same neighbors when they had sick or injured animals and weren't sure what to do. He also pulled out of ditches several cars owned by homeowners living on our dirt road. In turn, our neighbors have all waited patiently in their cars when we drove our cows up or down the road to the pastures. As you said, this type of helpfulness and caring seems to be getting scarce in this fast paced, high tech, and high finance world we live in now. So even though we have given up our cows, we certainly won't be giving up our rural lifestyle! Thanks for reminding us of the advantages of being part of an agricultural community!

Comment by Ashley Messing on March 20, 2015 at 1:26pm

Thank you Christina! 

Comment by Christina Winch on March 20, 2015 at 1:20pm
Nicely said Ashley.

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