This week, through my work with state government, I left the Capitol, meetings, emails, conference calls and more to spend a morning in my favorite work environment, a local farm. I was simply filling a request for some pictures of a dairy farmer that lives near us. I can actually see the dairy from our house despite it being a few miles away from our house. It’s between wide open spaces on the expansive prairie and I had never visited.
I snapped the photos and have yet to do any editing to them. I know I won’t get stuck in the muddy waters of government too often if I can have days like this stunning morning was on the dairy farm. Besides the fresh air, cows, fresh calves and inside look at the milking parlor, the best part of the visit was the conversation.
Farmers have a way of keeping it real, saying it like it is and telling their own authentic story.
As we walked the farm to capture the photos, the dairy farmer told me about his family operation. I asked questions. I have toured dairy farms from New York to California before in my previous working life. But to tour the dairy farm I can see from my North Dakota prairie home was unique for me. It’s my home turf. While they aren’t my cows, the milk our family drinks comes from the supplier that picks up milk daily at this farm. I asked more questions probably than if I would have been at a far from home farm.
|The ladies in the parlor let me get a close shot with my phone .|
Farmer Curt told me about how all of their manure from the cows is spread across their farm fields. I said that is sustainable as it gets but do people actually know that story. Do people know how farmers use waste to actually improve the soil? The soil grows corn, grass and other feedstocks. The cows eat the feed, produce milk and the sustainable cycle continues. I’ve read the expert opinions. But actually seeing it and hearing from the farmer’s point of view resonates the strongest for me.
Finally I just asked Curt if I could capture a little of what he was saying to me on video on my phone. Without hesitation, he agreed. Here is Curt, in his own words.
It was unscripted, conversational and from the voice of a dairy farmer on the North Dakota prairie. What he says is rooted in reality. It reminded me that even though I represent North Dakota state government now and my career has changed, my passion has not. I work for farmers, for the industry that I love, on the land my ancestors broke in 1884. I’m right where I am suppose to be.
As I departed the farm, Curt’s last comment to me was, “Katie, keep doing what you’re doing.” And as I drove away, I thought to myself, thank you. Thank you, Curt. Keep doing what you’re doing.
Linking up for Rural Thursday and Thankful Thursday today.
Maple Lane says
What an interesting post. I really enjoyed the pics and video. Found you via Thursday Blog Hop.
My Journey With Candida says
There is nothing and I mean nothing … more real than a farmer. They work so hard and most people have no idea.
Coloring Outside the Lines says
Very interesting post- I have always wanted to visit a dairy farm. Farmers are the backbone of our society,
that was a good story! i’m glad you got out and met your neighbor 🙂
Lisa @ Two Bears Farm says
Sounds like a great place! I love that he purposes the waste from the animals!
Great, thoughtful post.
i spent my first 13 yrs on a Wis dairy farm, and every spring, the manure spreading was an ‘odiferous’ time. 🙂
i loved the way you said ‘now’. reminded me of my family.
(actually the word you said was ‘about’). 🙂
EG CameraGirl says
I think it’s weird that governments put so many regulations on farmers but let bankers – especially rich ones – do whatever they want.
Yeah for farmers!
What a wonderful post. All of us in the ag industry need to encourage each other like this. I can’t wait to explore more of your blog, it looks like we have a lot in common!
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Tricia @ Bluff Area Daily says
I hear him! All the added rules & regulations is exactly why my father quit the furniture moving industry after 55 years in business!!! It’s getting out of hand & out of control!
Making use of every by-product possible is so necessary these days. Great post and video, Katie.
Thank you for sharing at Rural Thursdays this week.
Very interesting post and video.
A great post Katie. Curt really does a lot of work and I think most people are a bit out of touch with how much work it does take to run a farm. A dairy farm especially. I have to say that I loved hearing that Nodak accent!
~Kim at Golden Pines~ says
This was a really good post! My husband grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and I know he would agree as well.
I greatly admire those who remain in farming with their families even when pulled in another direction!
Bath Tub Mama says
Wow. You git some great pics.
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