We all wear different hats in our lives and I am no exception. In a typical day I juggle between my professional hat as a farm market adviser, the mother of two small boys and farmer’s wife. The hat of a farmer’s wife, I likely wear with the most comfort, as I have been a farmer’s daughter for 35 years. There is a quote in a movie, “It’s not too difficult to go from a farmer’s daughter to a farmer’s wife”. My husband has been a part of our family farm operation for approximately 11 years, so this transition came extremely easy for me, but that does not mean that being a farmer’s wife does not come without its own challenges.
When you are married to a farmer, it is simply not his career, but it is the essence that defines your entire family. The drought of 2012 and the current conditions unfolding this spring, tend to bring another element to the marriage. On the first day there is a “hint” of spring in the air, his moods picks up, as he anxiously prepares for the coming planting season. This year was no different; he disappeared to the machine shed for hours, as he went through the planter one last time. Unexpectedly the weather started to shift, rains began to fall, and once again he was pleased. As soil moisture reserves were extremely depleted, he welcomed the rains, as the droughts was all too fresh in his mind. As the month of April progressed and forecasts continued to call for above average precipitation, his mood started to decline. One rainy evening I walked into the kitchen to find him staring aimlessly out the window watching the rainfall. The only thing he said was, “Will I ever get to do my job?” So, in that moment I had to give my best “pep” talk that everything will be fine. The entire time I am trying to silent my inner voice that is just as worried as he is about getting the crop put into the ground, however; you never let him know you are concerned too.
I always remember growing up my mom saying winter was her favorite time of year because she did not have to worry about the weather. After going through the drought last year and this wet spring, I think winter just might be my new favorite season!!! As a farmer’s wife, you have ownership in what your husband is doing; you have a strong vested interest in everything that goes on in the farming operation. You take on the role of a cook, accountant, weatherman, part delivery person, counselor, farm marketer, and much more. However, at the end of the day, you would not change a single thing, as I cannot think of a better environment for my two young sons to grow up. They have a strong moral backbone, incredible work ethic and a true passion for farming. That does not mean they too do not worry, as on several occasions of being tucked into bed, the boys will comment on the weather and pray for the rain to start or stop so daddy and papa can get the crop in the ground. Our entire family is on the rollercoaster ride of farming where the highs are exhilarating, the lows are tough, but it something none of us would ever change. While this spring is yet another hiccup in the process, I continue to repeat the motto of generations of farm wives that came before me, “Everything has a way of working out”……
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