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I hope he learns

Progressive Forage Editor Joy Hendrix Published on 09 July 2021

We are more than halfway through 2021. As slow as 2020 seemed to pass, the first half of this year flew by in an entirely different manner.

The year has already been packed full of changes around here. All good things, but my ability to adapt to change has been stretched to its limit lately.

In addition to my job title changing, I’ve taken on a new role in life. In March, my husband and I had our first son. As if being new parents wasn’t enough, we also relocated from Idaho back to our roots in southeastern New Mexico.

We’ve felt for a while moving closer to family would be beneficial for all of us, but the logistics of a cross country move with a 10-week-old were a bit daunting. Just as the to-do list grew longer and boxes seemed to pile up even more, I couldn’t help but smile when I opened an email from Sally S. from Michigan. Her email was congratulating us on our new addition and concluded with the line, “I hope he is fortunate enough to grow up on a farm.”

My sleep-deprived mind needed to remember the reasoning behind the state of disarray we were in. We were in the midst of sacrificing our sanity so we could teach our son life lessons the best way we knew how, on the farm. Since then, I’ve been curating a list of things we hope to teach our son in the coming years. Here’s the beginning of my list of things I hope he will learn:

  • Chase the piece of plastic blowing in the wind. It’s better than seeing it go through the chopper later.

  • Always be the first one to the gate; be responsible for leaving it how you found it.

  • The animal may not make it until morning. Do everything you can anyway.

  • Goats are great for eating weeds, but they also eat any good feed they can get to.

  • Be smart about what you leave access to; goats aren’t the only culprits.

  • Three cents may not seem like a lot, but when you’re paying per acre, consider every cent.

  • Be a good neighbor. They know how difficult this industry can be.

  • Strict rules exist to keep you safe. The farm isn’t a place to test those limits.

  • Never be afraid to ask for help.

  • People will criticize what you do differently; be ready to defend your decisions.

  • Keep your tools handy and your books organized.

  • Work doesn’t always start at 8 or end at 5.

  • People will remember if you shook their hand or not.

  • You can’t control the weather. Appreciate the sunny days and the rainy days, as they all have their place.

Thankfully, I have some time to add to and edit my list. I’d love to hear your suggestions and memories of lessons your family learned. Because no matter what his future holds, I hope he never stops learning.  end mark

Joy Hendrix
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