It’s crazy what changes a year’s time can do. Two years ago, I was just a normal dairy kid, going to college, working on the farm whenever I could, and oblivious to the fact that each day was one of the last I would spend with my cows. One year ago, I was dealing with the biggest heartache of my life. Today, I am a farm kid without a farm.
The past year has been filled with challenges, some tougher than the rest. One of the biggest things I have struggled with though, is as simple as believing I am still a “farm kid.” Growing up, being a farm kid was a title I held with the upmost pride. There was nothing I enjoyed more in life than working on the farm with my Dad. We could have been shoveling manure by hand, and I still would have had the time of my life.
Once we said goodbye to the last load of cows, and shut down the parlor for the very last time, I felt as though my farm kid title was revoked. When I went back to school, I felt left out of conversations I once loved. For the first time in my life when people asked me about my farm, I didn’t know what to say. I no longer had a farm to talk about.
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. God knew exactly what he was doing when he made those drastic changes in my life. I needed to lose my own cows in order to gain new ones.
I have always thought of the Zwald’s as my second family. Growing up they graciously allowed me to show their heifers and cows at the county and state fairs. So, when they offered my Dad the opportunity to be a part of their operation I knew it wouldn’t be long before I had a farm to talk about again.
What I didn’t know was how much they would let me be involved, how much kindness they would show, or how much their farm would come to feel like home. Over the past few months I have spent countless hours working alongside my Dad, something I didn’t think would ever happen again. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Over the past few months, I have been able to do so many simple farm tasks that I thought I would never do again. I have learned about things I never would have on my own farm. Things like flushing cows and other management techniques on larger scale dairies. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Over the past few months, I have gained a new farm. It might not be my own. It might not be even remotely similar to the farm I once called home. But, it is a farm none the less. For that, I am eternally grateful.
It is still hard to answer people when they ask about my farm. I still don’t know the right thing to say. I’m not sure I ever will. However, I do know that I am still a Farm Kid, and someday I will have a farm.