Farm kid for life

It often seems like my farm childhood has shaped me into who I am today. I’m proud to give my boys the opportunity to live the farm life, be in 4-H, own livestock and roam free. (P.S. Oct. 1 to 7 is #national4Hweek.)

After spending our summer concentrating on county fair preparation and middle school football pre-conditioning, my kids went back to school mid-August. These boys couldn’t be more different. One loves school, and the other loathes it. The oldest came home from the first day and was not happy. When questioned he told of his first interaction with his new English teacher.

She’d tasked the kids to tell the class about themselves. Most of his classmates know Shaun’s all about the farm life, but she hadn’t gotten that memo just yet. When he told the class he was involved in agriculture and his family raises cattle, her comment to him was, “I guess we’re enemies then.” 

“Huh?” Was my reaction. After further questioning, he told me she’s a proclaimed vegetarian/vegan. My knee jerk reaction was to run off at the mouth about how “those” kinds of people live and react to the world around them. But I didn’t. I gave him a few calmer tips to have more positive interactions with her in the future. 

Initially I’d thought about having her invite his new teacher out and visit the farm to see the cattle, goats and other livestock. But then those negative thoughts that are often in the back of my mind, took hold, and I thought why share our paradise with someone so close minded. So I let it go.

Since my oldest has been playing football, he’s developed a friendship that I know he’s been missing. After one of his games, my husband and I got to meet his friend and on the way home he suggested Shaun invite his friend to come hang out on a Sunday afternoon. 

This friend lives in town and I’m not real sure if he’s got any experience with farm/ranch life. Shaun introduced him to the horses and donkey and showed him his 4-H goats. Then my husband took them fishing and he got a chance to feed the cattle. He even proudly showed his friend his heifer who’s now in the freezer. 

I had to giggle at him as he described the animals and showed his friend around our place. When the time came for the friend to go home, I wasn’t home yet and didn’t get to ask him about their adventures for the day. However, the following week at school, Shaun said the visit had made quite the impression on his friend. He wanted to come and stay the following weekend.

His friend did just that. He spent the entire weekend with us. Hanging out, playing video games, riding the 4-wheeler and seeing all the things. He even got in on washing show goats in preparation for the Kansas Junior Livestock Show. I’m happy to share our life with someone who appreciates it. Even though my pantry will never be the same!