Life happens when you least expect it.
Today, March 1st, I turn 30.
I’ve been afraid of that number since I turned 25 – the first time!
However, since then, I have realized that much worse things can happen than turning 30, and in five years’ time a lot of amazing things can happen, too.
In fact, had you told me 12 years ago that I would be where I am today, I would have laughed out loud.
At 18 I thought I was fully capable of taking on the world, and the world was anywhere but a tiny little town that smelled like cow manure. Now, when I leave this tiny little town that smells like cow manure, I can’t wait to go back.
So fast forward to today, and I still think I can take on the world, but that is only because of the people I have around me who have made me the person I am through giving me their time, their knowledge and their love.
I’ll admit when I first started milking cows with my husband about a year and a half after we were married – just eight years ago – I never thought I’d be doing much more than just going through the motions of milking.
That lasted about the first day.
Then, when Jason pitched the idea to me that we could own and run our own farm, I had already fallen so in love with what we were doing, and he had it all down on paper, I thought that would be a piece of cake, too.
That lasted about a day, as well.
What does it take to get from being pregnant with our first child and setting out to take on whatever challenges stood in our way, to starting our own dairy and really making it happen – including having four kids, and still being head-over-heels in love with each other and our career of choice? The answer: A LOT!
Anything can look good on paper, and, honestly, I am so thankful it did.
Had I known the struggles, the determination, the occasional heartache we would encounter making this happen, I may have wondered if we shouldn’t have left well enough alone. Looking back, there were rough patches, but standing in our parlor today, looking around at our beautiful cows, our happy children who know we are working toward a future for them, and my husband who has been by my side every step of the way, and who has never once questioned his reasoning for doing this for us, for our family – the good far, far outweighs the bad.
In the last seven years we purchased an empty 30 acre piece of ground, built a dairy and our home on it, acquired 200+ acres of rented ground so we can be as self-sufficient as possible at feeding our cows, prepared to grow our herd as our family ages, maintained the health of our animals, improved our milk quality, became spokespeople for our dairy, learned as much as we could, surrounded ourselves with amazing people, survived a drought, and we continue to survive volatile milk and commodity markets, and are raising four happy, healthy children.
Jason and I have found that every door we open has a dozen more doors behind it just waiting to be opened as well. Right now, we are having lots of fun continuing to open doors and to find out more about ourselves and where we can take our business to next. I think it goes without being said that some doors needed to be closed, as well, but not for nothing. Every experience has made us who we are today.We have accomplished so much and I can only hope the next 30 years of my life will be as good as the last!