First of all, how crazy is that!?! I have no idea how, out of the thousands of amazing farm moms who work every day to raise their families, care for livestock and the land and keep up with the housework, they chose me to be the national Farm Mom. I guess it was the awesome essays that my kids and my aunt wrote to nominate me for that honor. I am truly humbled to be spotlighted out of the crowds of hardworking women. But it got me thinking...what makes a "Farm Mom."
A farm mom can get teenagers out of bed at 5:00 am to round up cattle on vaccination day, but also let her kids sleep in from time to time after they've worked hard on the ranch. Whether or not she works off the farm or ranch is irrelevant, as anyone who lives on a farm is definitely involved in farm work. She has a garden to weed, tomatoes to can, brownies to bake for 4-H tonight, and a conference call at noon. Her chores include laundry and cooking for her family, as well as hosting a late night movie party for the teens, while staying up to check heifers in labor every 3 hours during the night.
When the family puts a day on the calendar to work cattle, a farm mom is in charge of ordering the vaccine and making sure the equipment is in working order, organizing the list of cows and their calves to match up, and scheduling the date with the veterinarian. She gets up early on the day to start a hearty lunch in the crockpot, put the vaccine & equipment in the coolers, load the drinks for the workers and get dressed to work. The kids usually need pulled out of bed, and hauled to the truck, where they awaken on the way to the pasture to put in a full day of physical work--right alongside the Farm Mom and Farm Dad. At lunchtime, a farm mom puts the finishing touches on the meal, cleans up the dishes and heads back outside with the family to finish work all afternoon.
|Madonna of the Trail statue in Council Grove, KS. Women have been involved in agriculture since the beginning of ag!|
A farm mom is one of the hardest working people I've ever met. Her job is a true 24/7/365 job! She is always "on the clock"--even on vacation! But it is the best job I've ever had in my entire life!
Please do not think I'm trying to make myself look better--or harder working--or more selfless than any other mother or woman in agriculture. But this is what we all do...we do whatever it takes to keep our family together. A farm mom, a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a grandmother, a woman in agriculture...we are all very similar. We have things that we all do, and responsibilities that we all fulfill. There are more things that make us alike, than ways that we are different. I am just a mom...who runs a ranch...and who is raising five kids (and a husband).
I'm proud to be the Farm Mom of the Year, but I'm prouder to be just a Farm Mom. Thank you, Monsanto, for shining the light on Farm Moms in America. I'd like you to read the essays for the other four regional winners! They are amazing women! They can be found at: AmericasFarmers.com We're a tough breed, and proud to do what we do. We don't ask for recognition, but when it comes our way, it is gratifying.
My favorite author is Erma Bombeck.She wrote a beautiful, funny story about God creating Mothers.
When God Created Mothers, by Erma Bombeck
"When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into his sixth day of “overtime” when an angel appeared and said, “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And the Lord said, “Have you read the specs on this order?
- She has to be completely washable, but not plastic;
- Have 180 movable parts... all replaceable;
- Run on black coffee and leftovers;
- Have a lap that disappears when she stands up;
- A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair;
- And six pairs of hands.”
“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.
The Lord nodded. “One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ’What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, ’I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”
“Lord,” said the angel, touching His sleeve gently, “Go to bed. Tomorrow...”
“I can’t,” said the Lord, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick... can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger... and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower.”
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.
“But she’s tough!” said the Lord excitedly. “You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure.”
“Can it think?”
“Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. “There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You You were trying to push too much into this model.”
“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord. “It’s a tear.”
“What’s it for?”
“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”
“You are a genius,” said the angel.
The Lord looked somber. “I didn’t put it there,” He said.