With June and the celebration of June dairy month rapidly passing us by, I have been thinking about what it is I want to portray to all those folks who graciously read the stories I have to tell and the pictures I share. What an amazing opportunity to tell the world about the industry I love and I'm too tired at night to even pick my hands up to type. That's summer on a dairy farm for ya.
But when I opened this page to write what I hoped might be inspirational for all of you I found the answer plain and clear.
Proud to Dairy. I am proud to be a dairy farmer.
As I begin thinking of how to describe the reasons why, another experience came to mind.
In the fall of 2007, I was a freshman in college at Virginia Tech.
It was the alma mater of my father and grandfather. The one where I had attended every home football game since I was 8 years old. As a child, I can recall my dad teaching me the lyrics to “Old Hokie” when I couldn’t sleep at night.
But that spring, my Hokie family had lost some of our own. On April 16th, 2007 the Virginia Tech community was faced with a tragedy that rocked it to the core. There are no words to describe it.
But what happened the next day and those following is what I choose to remember.
There was resilience. There was a choice to come together and be there for one another.
We chose to prevail over the chaos that had entangled us.
As I walked into Lane Stadium that August, there was a quiet that hovered in the crowd.
We were all waiting for someone to say something because we didn’t have the words.
The moment of silence felt like it lasted a hundred years.
But I can tell you this. After we dried our eyes, we jumped extra high that day.
I can still hear the echo, “Let’s go”…. “Hokies”.
If we’re honest with each other, some days dairy farming is flat out hard.
But I have never been more proud to be part of a community of people that choose to see the good instead of the bad. To see the beauty instead of the work.
I have never been more proud to be part of a community that sticks together and lends a helping hand.
I have never been more proud to be a part of the community that works side by side with their family as we help feed the world.
The ones that never give up, the ones that always look for a better tomorrow. The ones who are selfless and strong.
Just like me I know many of you may even be reading this post with heavy eyes from a hard days work.
Some of us might be sun burned and worn out and just barely had time to clean up in time to get to that meeting in town.
Some might be anxious about tomorrow and some might be missing the ways of days gone by.
But we will get up and do it again tomorrow.
Because we know in our hearts the world is depending on us.
I have never felt more proud to be a part of anything else.