Life lessons taught on farm

               Growing up on a farm has exposed me to many valuable life lessons; the quicker you pick stones the faster you can get back to playing, eating dirt makes you healthier, and getting up before the sun is normal. There are many lessons I learned and I feel made me a stronger person. One lesson that I was taught at a quite young age is dealing with loss and the facts of life. Cows have a shorter life span than humans (average of 4 years). I am an animal person who forms close relationships with my cows. My parents ensured that I knew the truth whenever it was time for one of babies to be put down. My babies never went ‘to sleep’ or ‘going on a long vacation’, I was told what was happening and why.

               This past week was not a happy one on our home farm. On Wednesday we got the exciting news that one of our family’s favourite cow got classified 2X Excellent. This was only our second cow in our 18 year history of achieving this. Party time! Then Friday morning my father noticed that she was looking a bit under the weather and called the vet. The vet examined her, and did not notice anything in particular. Five minutes later she had a heart attack and died. The autopsy found cancer in her heart. Later that day, my brother noticed that his brownswiss that was also classified Excellent aborted her calf. She was due in two months. When this happens you have to ship the cow because she will not cycle anymore. So, two of our best cows were lost in one day due to fluke incidences.

                I do not know how to put it in better words then, it sucked. You spend years building you genetics, and then suddenly they are gone. But, this is a way of life, you have good days and bad.  I think you become a stronger person dealing with life’s curve balls rather than hiding from reality.  Growing up on a farm I am exposed to some of these realities and I hope I have learned how to successfully deal with them and am prepared for the future.

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~ by mpfister on November 15, 2009.

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