My favorite farmer gave me a birthday card more than 15 years ago that showed a picture of a man systematically mowing the lawn (including the flower garden) with a caption that read, I guess I’m more ‘logical’ than ‘romantic’.
I laughed so hard when he gave it to me that I cried. After all these years, the card is still tacked up on the bulletin board on my kitchen wall. It is now faded and beginning to tear at the seams, but I can’t bear to throw it away because it depicts Matt and I so well.
We aren’t inherently romantic, and I love the fact that our outlook on life is more practical as I believe that makes us good farmers.
In many ways, my feed yard is much like my favorite farmer and I: favoring the practical side over the romantic. It houses 3000 animals that exist to make beef and other products that we all use every day. These animals eat, drink, sleep, play and grow. They require daily care regardless of the weather, and their existence on our farm ensures that there is always work to be done.
While I managed to get him to “wink” for the camera, he has no concept of the notion of romanticism…
I truly love what I do, but I also recognize that it is not quixotic in nature. Managing a feed yard requires practical “hands on” skills, and I like to laugh that I generally earn my shower at the end of the day. I may hum my favorite country song while I do chores, but my cattle certainly don’t appreciate the music for any more than a gauge of my mood.
And, I am quite certain that they prefer the sound of the feed truck bringing them breakfast much more than any poetry that I might recite…
The culture of a cattle feed yard does not provide an element of romanticism to the beef story; however, I feel that my farm offers a very real gift. The gift of healthy food that is raised carefully and responsibly.
The professionalism that dictates the care that I offer to my animals ensures that they are comfortable, and make and safe and healthy beef. This very logical process can then provide the avenue for each of you to have a romantic beef eating experience. I am happy to stay true to my natural pragmatic self if each of you is willing to trust me as I grow your beef :)
It is this combination of reality and romance that together makes us sustainable.