7 Ways Marrying a Farmer Will Make You a Better Person

So many joys of being a farmer’s wife. So many life lessons too. I wouldn’t trade this wonderful life for the world, and here some ways I am better because of marrying my farmer:

Patience. There have been times when my dairy man calls and says to expect him home for breakfast at 9am.  Shortly after, around 9:30, I will get another phone call (in a sweet voice) saying, “Umm, remember how I said 9? Yeah, better make that 10:30.” I replied, “What were you doing?” He replied with the picture below and said:

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“Sitting in the rafters watching cow behavior!”

And then I roll my eyes, crack a smile and patiently wait for him to come home.

Slow to Anger. Snowballing off of the previous, the farmer’s wife must learn not to be angry about when her farmer finally comes home, sometimes late. Farmers are home at odd hours of the day, so when they are home, cherish the moment! Yes, it is frustrating, but don’t ruin the short time that he is home by being angry.

*Also, knowing how to keep meals warm is must.

*And packing up the meal and taking it out to the field when there is not time for my farmer to come home and eat.

My specialty: Meals to the field.

My specialty: Meals to the field.

Humility. Being a farmer’s wife is hardly ever glamorous.  Most of my days are spent washing his manure-stained chore clothes and reminding him to wash his manure-coated arms when he arrives at home. There are many activities that my husband has asked me to do or requested my help with that have greatly humbled me.  Whenever he asks me kindly to help him with something, I always end up holding something slippery, slimy or stinky.  I remember the first time my dairy man asked me to take a calf’s  temperature. I looked at him perplexed.  I asked, “How am I supposed to hold the thermometer under its tongue?” He replied, “You don’t take temperatures in the mouth, dear.”

Hard Work. Being a farmer’s daughter is nothing compared to being a farmer’s wife. There are many more responsibilities.  Cleaning, cooking, gardening, canning, laundry, errand running, feeding calves and misc chores to name a few. Add trying to finish a bachelor’s degree into the mix and I’m already needing a nap.

Discipline. Last year I was a college student.  This meant rolling out of bed at 9:45 and rushing to my 10 am class.  There were also many late nights and still plenty of sleep.  I was able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. That was a big change for me as calves need to be fed twice a day at the same time, every day. Now, whenever I tell someone I overslept, it means I woke up at 6 instead of 5.

Power Tools. When my farmer says that he needs a tool in the barn, I am still learning how to interpret what he means. When he says “Go get me that one tool that I use for this, it’s the shiny, round, sharp, circular thingy next to the balling gun and tag remover but not the other shiny round tool, get the one I used last time”; I am starting to know what this means. I’m still learning a lot about all of these specific tools and their functions but I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was as a single lady.  Also, hardware stores.  I’m getting very familiar with our town’s hardware store and know where to find a few things!

Geography: There are many times where my husband needs me to pick him up or needs a delivery in a certain field left of the green sign, north of the intersection, around the curve, cross the culvert, past the waterway, west of the hay field and up the hill.  Getting lost is a frequent occurence.

I still have much to learn and much to be humbled by and I’m excited for every new experience!

 

-J

All That Jazz

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Jazzy on a walk

Meet Jasmine the Jersey! (Also referred to as “Jazzy.”) This picture was taken about 8 weeks ago when the grass was still green and corn was still in the field. Dan and I have taken her on a few walks just for fun. I bet you are wondering how we have a Jersey calf on our Holstein dairy farm. I can explain!

This is Jasmine’s mama:

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Just hanging out and getting milked

I snapped this picture in the parlor this morning while she was getting milked.  She’s so pretty! Jasmine’s mom was having trouble getting pregnant so my husband decided to breed her to a Jersey bull. He did this because Jersey bulls are more fertile than Holstein bulls.  Sure enough, it worked!  The calf is called a “Ho-Jo” because it is a mix of the two breeds. Jazzy’s mom was actually our top producing cow in the month of October! Jazzy’s mama is 5 years and 9 months old and has given us 4 calves including Jasmine.  She peaked at 126 pounds of milk per day in October. She has given us 84,000 pounds of milk since she has joined the milking herd. To attain a high level of milk production, no hormones, shots or additives are given to the cows. We simply keep them comfortable, healthy and fed a well balanced diet.  They take care of the rest!

And as a result we have a beautiful little Ho-Jo.

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Relaxing in her stall

Jazzy grew up way too fast and is already weaned.  Right now she is 2 months old.  When she is 15 months old or 52″ tall, whichever comes first, she will be bred and have a calf by her 2nd birthday and will then enter the milking herd!

5 Things Marriage Has Taught Me

Today is Dan and I’s 5 month anniversary.  I know 5 months isn’t long, but it seems like I have learned more in these past 5 months than the last 5 years. First off, my husband is amazing and I am incredibly lucky to have him. I thank God every day for this man.

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My husband is so hardworking. It’s typical for him to work 14 hour days and I never hear a complaint. This is a conversation we had yesterday:

Me: “Dan, you just worked twleve hours straight.”

Dan: “And I could work twelve more.”

Jeepers.

What a blessing to be married to a man who knows how to work! And he’s 23. What man who is this age knows how to work that hard? Not only is he incredibly hard working (and is so good at what he does) he loves me like Jesus does. With that being said, here are the top 5 things that marriage has taught me.

1. It’s not about me. It’s not even about my husband.  It’s about God. The purpose of marriage is to glorify God. When I serve my husband, I am serving the Lord.  Ephesians 5:31-32 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” Marriage is a reflection of God’s love.

2. I am the most selfish person I know. When I was single, I was selfish and unaware.  This was suddenly brought to light when I had to start taking care of my husband.  Doing his laundry. Making his meals. Running his errands. Sometimes I find myself getting really sassy when I feel like all I do is his stuff.  But God is glorified when I serve my husband.  I usually need to check my own heart when I get sassy about this because I love my husband and it truly is a blessing to be able to get to do all of this for him. 🙂

3. Forgiveness.  I’m pretty sure Dan has had to forgive me way more times than I have had to forgive him. Ha! Here is my main point: Don’t judge your spouse because they sin differently than you.  Love them. Forgive them. Encourage them.

4. Servitude. I have found that I am the happiest when I put my needs aside and decide to help my husband.  When I have piles of homework to do, dirty laundry and dirty dishes and Dan needs my help with something on the farm, I should help him. Real servitude is not expecting anything in return.

5. I need help. I can’t be a good wife on my own.  Galations 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Everyday I ask God to help me to posses these qualities.

Proverbs 31:10-12 “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trust in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”

Now that is the kind of wife I want to be.

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-J

Newborn Babies

Who doesn’t love babies? Baby animals, baby humans…if it is tiny, I’m going to squeel and need to cuddle with it. With that being said, baby calves are one of my favorite things!

Just look at this little sweetie!

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This little girl’s name is Shadow.  This picture was taken a few minutes after she was born. Isn’t it amazing that calves can stand up and walk almost immediately after being born?

There are a few things that we do to manage our newborns.  After their arrival, they will be fed a gallon of colostrum.  Colostrum is the milk that the mother cow gives after the baby is born.  The mom is milked and then we feed the colostrum by hand to the baby by allowing the calf to nurse from a bag of pasteurized colostrum. If the calf is unable to nurse for an unknown reason, we will use an esophogeal tube feeder to administer the colostrum directly into the calfs’ stomach.  Colostrum has a lot of extra goodies than regular milk.  It has a higher fat content, more antibodies, higher levels of immunoglobulins, and the babies need the extra calories to get them going!

Here is what feeding colostrum is like:

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This little girl’s name is Black Beauty.  After they are fed, they are given an oral vaccine called BarGuard.  They get a shot of Multimin (vitamins) and they get their naval dipped with an iodine solution.  We will clean out a stall for them and give them fresh bedding for their new home.

During their first week of life they will drink 2 quarts of milk twice daily.  When they reach 1 week of age, they will receive 3 quarts of milk twice daily. When the temperature drops below 30 degrees constantly, we will give them 4 quarts of milk per feeding after a week of age.  All of our heifers receive an intranasal vaccine called Inforce at one week of age which helps build immunity to different respiratory diseases.

There you have it! That is how we take care of our precious babies on the farm.

-J