Monday, June 17, 2013

Farming families rely on fathers

Yesterday signified a day where many people honor their fathers. These are the men who not only helped bring us into the world, but hold an important role in the development of our lives. For me, it has taken more time to truly understand the sacrifices my own father makes to provide for my family. But after spending the weekend at home and reflecting on my trip to California, this next post is dedicated to the work by fathers in agriculture.

My dad and I showing Shorthorn cattle at the county fair
My dad is a man who works more than he should and receives less pay and recognition for it. Whether he is out in the field planting his crops or in the barn caring for our cattle and goats, he is constantly seeking ways to provide for our family. He is the true definition of a farming father.

This photo was from 2008 at our county fair Shorthorn open class show. The term "daddy's little girl" definitely applies to me, from my relentless need to work and complete tasks, hatred of coconut, and a passion for the agriculture industry.

Diepersloot Dairy with farm owner Bob Diepersloot
In California, the AFA team was able to see more fathers taking roles in the agriculture industry. At Diepersloot Dairy Farm, Bob is the head of the farm. He sees the needs of his 9,500-head dairy and also the needs of his family. His son, Adrian, has become involved and formed a partnership on their farm. They have developed a strong father-son relationship that continues the success of their farm.
Adrian Diepersloot showing us around his farm
The photo on the left is of Bob when he invited us into his home to enjoy breakfast! He was telling us about the chocolate milk his friend's dairy produced. The image on the right is of Adrian when he was giving us a tour around the dairy farm. You could clearly see the passion each of the them had as they showed us around the farm. They prove that collaboration is the key to a working family.

I will discuss details about the dairy in a later post, but I wanted to share how important the father is in a farming operation.I know on our operation, it would not be the same without my dad there. Just as when he was growing up, my grandfather was the head of the farm and still farms today. I know many other farms are successful without a father figure, but I feel blessed to have an experience with one in my life.
In my eyes, farming families rely on fathers.

Weihl Family in 2012

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