Why I love winter on the farm | TSLN.com

Why I love winter on the farm

Lori Tonak
SD Center for Farm and Ranch Mgt.

farm design

I love winter! Now, I am not saying I love working on a frozen water supply for the cattle, scooping bunks, or trying to get a tractor started when it is gelled up. As a young girl, I did not enjoy getting up at 4:30 am to milk cows in a barn, heated with a Knipco, and having my feet become blocks of ice before chores were done; however, there were some things I did enjoy.

One spectacular sight in winter was the Northern Lights as you were heading to the barn. The clean, crisp air made the lights stand out in the night sky. Stars at night was another wonderful display when you were finishing up the outside chores in the chill of winter. Stars shine brighter in the cold night air!

Winter also triggers a time when life slows down, kind of. With the cold, we tend to stay home unless it is an absolute necessity to be out and about. Our family bonded in winter but not always as a social event, usually it involved chores around the farm on a snow day! Social gatherings are plentiful this time of the year, be it family or neighbor, and this adds to the joy of winter.

For me, Christmas is the greatest joy of winter. For some of you, Christmas may not be the most joyful this year as the farm income has taken a hit and it is putting stress on you during the holiday season. I would like to remind you to look around at the blessings you do have that money cannot buy-family, friends, faith. If you feel that money will not stretch to buy spectacular gifts, try to think of things to do with your family to make memories. Think of someone in the community that may be struggling emotionally or financially, maybe a shut-in, and think of something you can do as a family, or an individual, to make that person's day just a little brighter.

If times are really hard for you and your family, reach out to a local church to see if there are any programs that can help you get through the holiday. Most communities have programs to help buy gifts for children, food pantries to supply a Christmas meal, or any other need that might need to be met. As agriculture producers, we are proud and feel those types of programs are for other people but, if you qualify, there is no shame in using them to take care of your family.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If anyone would like more information on how the SD Center of Farm and Ranch Management can help your operation, contact the SDCFRM office or any of our instructors, call 1-605-995-3098 or email us at sdcfrm@mitchelltech.edu.