When life gets too fast-paced, it's time for me to take a step back and spend some time with cattle. Immediately I am transported to a simple time. A time that seems out of place among the chaos of today.
Family farming is a way of life that seems to be headed closer to extinction these days. I'm not talking about big-time farming and ranch operations (which are having their own struggles); I mean small family farms like those in my community.
It's our way of life, not a hobby
"We do it because we love it, not to make a profit"
Luckily, I live in an area where farms and farmers aren't hard to find. One thing I've noticed is there are two kinds of 'farmers': those that are born into it through generations and those that attempt to create a manufactured experience for profit. Obviously, I prefer the former.
Don't cross his field unless you can do it in 9 seconds. He can do it in 10.
I come from a beautiful small town that is rich in history both for its colonial and agricultural nature. People come from all over to marvel at and appreciate our little town and drive our country roads featuring farms and open spaces. People really love the small-town feel our community provides.
Preserving Our Way of Life
When people come here from the land of rectangular structures to admire our peaceful way of life; Why is their first knee-jerk reaction to turn it into something it is not? Isn't it just like human nature? Only humans will pause to admire an open space just long enough to ponder what they can build on it. Before long it becomes something you no longer recognize.
People shout "progress" and people shout "change". Why though? To what end? Aren't there enough heavily exploited areas for the world to enjoy? Can there not be one place left somewhat untouched by man? I have found that the best way we can protect beautiful places is by not exploiting them.
Hey friend, looking good. Love those lashes.
Words don't always match Actions
I hear a lot of fancy new 'buzz words' going around these days. Everybody likes shiny new things but more often than not they are contradictory in nature. Maybe I'm a bit of an old-timer. I was raised to till the earth the old-fashioned way. Our methods don't require electricity. It's simple really; add seed to the soil, water it, and allow the sun to do the work. To me, that's what sustainable agriculture is all about. It's sustained this long, after all.
Several states nowadays are promoting things like agritourism or ecotourism. Is that what is being offered in practice though? To be clear, I'm not opposed to these new ideas. It's my belief that we need to have a better definition of these terms and be responsible about our methods before we dive in haphazardly. In my opinion; these terms come across as an oxymoron. For instance; farmers are the greatest stewards of the environment and (well-intentioned) tourists can be the greatest destroyers of the environment. How many historical monuments can we no longer visit because of humans? So, bringing the two together can be detrimental if not done in a responsible way.
It's nice to be able to view wildlife, that can be exciting. At the same time though, I believe animals flourish best when they are left to live their lives without having humans constantly invading their space. All they want to do is eat, sleep, and breed in peace. I can respect that.
Sometimes our wooded areas are susceptible too. Without meaning to, tourists can introduce invasive species to vulnerable areas and accidentally wreak havoc on a forest. Each state has its own invasive insects that like to hitchhike on vehicles. Especially with campers who travel with firewood. That can undermine the conservation efforts that are being promoted. Lastly, when I hear ecotourism, it brings to mind thoughts of saving the environment. Something safe and green. Tell me though, what is nature friendly about huge fuel-guzzling vehicles (i.e. large RV campers)? I have nothing against camping, don't get me wrong. I am only trying to understand whether or not the terms are compatible.
Anyway, enough of that. I was riding around our farm with my family the other day and we have a new baby. He was born on my dad's birthday, that's why his name is Guggs. That was my dad's nickname. He is a day old in this photo.
He's so purty
Cuddly but more interested in dinner
He was born last year
Thanks for your patience
It's not my intention for my blog to turn into a rant. I do feel it's important, in our time, to dig deeper. To see how these things measure up. Family farms and our way of life are slowly becoming more of a novelty. It will be a shame to lose them altogether. My goal in this is to add food for thought. A wise farmer once told me "Before you start taking down fences, it would be wise to consider why those fences are there, to begin with".
At any rate, it was good for me to get this off my chest. Whatever happens in the future, it's nothing a day with livestock can't cure. Have a blessed day and thank you for reading.