Love is the hot topic this week as we celebrate Valentine’s Day. To love is to have a deep admiration, respect, and feeling of responsibility. I cannot think of a better word to describe the way most farmers feel about their business and all that encompasses. Farming is a labor of love.
As a farmer's daughter and now a farmer’s wife I see firsthand the sacrifice that farmers make because they love the animals, culture, and satisfaction farming provides. The farmers I am related to and those I get to work with regularly go above and beyond to make sure their love of farming is obvious. Hosting farm tours and community events and donating their goods to food pantries and soup kitchens are just a few examples of how farmers aim to show their admiration for the work they do daily.
Raising animals to produce food for human consumption is not a task for anyone who does not admire, respect, and take responsibility for the welfare of the animals, land, and their communities. It takes a lot of time, effort, and the understanding of friends and family to farm successfully and still find joy in the work.
The love they display for their labor is something to be recognized. How many of us would answer a call from our fellow employee at 11 pm just to hear that we need to put our work clothes back on, drive back to work, and help fix a problem?
Farm employee on night shift: “hello, the heifers are out and in the front yard! We need help getting them back in before they go into the road!”
Farm employee off duty, home in bed nearly asleep: “I'll be right there.”
(This is an example of a personal scenario that has happened more than once in my home.)
Without hesitation, farmers take responsibility for those in their care. Farming is a labor of love.