Thursday, April 21, 2011

Anything a Boy Can Do A Girl Can Do.......As Well.

A few days ago we had a fellow cattle breeder and friend stop by for coffee.  It's always nice to have these visits.  During our visit we talked about how long and cold the winter had been, when we thought we would get on the land to plant the crops and how the new calves were developing.  Along with the discussion of crops and pasture and moisture the topic of land and what it was renting for or selling for in our area came up.
Now your probably wondering what this has to do with boys and girls and their abilities.  Our friend made the comment that they had rented a piece of land for a number of years, land that had at one time belonged to his grandfather.  The land had recently come up for sale and they made an offer.  The offer wasn't accepted and they decided not to offer more.  That's fair enough, farming does have to be looked at as a business.  But then he added "If I had a son  that was interested in farming instead of a daughter, there is no way we would have let someone else get that land".  Wait a minute, did I just hear correctly?  Now I know that his daughter isn't interested in making farming her career but why should it make a difference if it's your son or daughter.

Our daughters Crystal and Stacy have played a role in our farming enterprise from day one.   
The each owned their own cattle before they reached their first birthdays.  They were by our sides daily helping out where they could.  Now that they have grown up and are not living at home they still continue to own cattle, help with marketing and advertising and with Stacy being closer she often spends her weekends and holiday time helping with work at the farm or at the show and sales. 

Crystal also plans her Thanksgiving holiday to come to one of the Canadian shows with us.

We never treated our daughters differently than if we had 2 sons.  OK maybe we did.  I don't know if we would have wanted our sons to be out feeding hay in their Carhart coveralls with pink rollers in the hair, because they had a ballet recital to go to later that morning.  Rob certainly is stronger and has abilities that me and the girls don't have.  We might do the job differently or take a little longer, but the job does get done, and we always gave the girls all the opportunity to learn and be a part of the farm.
Our farming operation is not large.  We own 60 purebred cows and 185 acres of land along with some rented land.  It's not enough to sustain 2 or 3 families but it is ours and what we are building today is for our children............our daughters.  We hope that they will continue to play a role in Agriculture and even more specifically High Country Cattle.  It was never a thought that we wouldn't pass on what we had built to the next generation just because they were female.

We're proud that they have their careers, that they love fashion, fine dining, shopping and all the things that girls usually love.  But we also love that they will walk through the muck and grab on to a slimy new born calf, drive a tractor, or haul a load of cattle to the pasture.   
If Agriculture and the family farm is going to be sustainable we need both our sons and daughters to want to continue in this field and we need to support them any way that we can. 


Hmiller said...

I love it, I come from a family of four two boys and two girls. I was never treated any different from my brothers when it came to things on the ranch. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!


Laura said...

I read this on my phone and forgot to come back and comment. Absolutely love your message, and always have admired and appreciated the way you have empowered Crystal and Stacy. Great post!