Thursday, January 10, 2019

Changes Are Coming...

I suppose some of you have heard "rumors", and others of you may have wondered what's happening on our farm in 2019!

Changes are what's happening...

Changes can be exciting...changes can be challenging...changes can be unsettling...changes can be fun...or they can be all of it rolled up in one.  That's kind of what our coming changes feel like!

Jim and I have been dairy farming since the day we were married, just over 25 years ago.  We started out with Jim working for his dad on the farm, while I worked full time at a local bank.  In April of 1994, we officially took over the dairy, while I remained working at the bank.  I slowly took on less hours at the bank and eventually stayed at home full time to help Jim on the farm and to start our family.

The past 24 years of being self employed dairy farmers have been mostly good ones!  I say mostly, because no job, however wonderful, is completely without challenges.  It was great to both be at home, and to raise our kids on the farm.  Being self employed certainly has it's benefits! When the kids were small, I could go for groceries while the kids were napping, and Jim had the baby monitor with him...we could eat three meals a day together during the "slow" times on the farm...the kids had lots of fresh air and space to explore, and many more. There were sacrifices however, like being able to get away rarely, even for weekends, having to "divide and conquer" to get to our kids activities over the years, and being "on call" 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  We chose to farm, and we don't regret it!

All that said...we just spent our last evening working all together as a family in a barn that's full of cows...

Eric went back to college on Monday, and Jenna heads back next week.  By the time they're both home again at the same time, our cows will be gone.

A lot of thought has gone into this decision; it was never taken lightly.  The kids have chosen paths other than farming...and we're totally thrilled for them.  We are making this choice voluntarily, and perhaps in a few years, Jim will choose to crop farm again.  For now however, we have rented out the ground, and will be working at jobs primarily off the farm.

I'm sure there will be visible emotions when the cows leave, but that's natural.  We've talked to many farmers who have gone through this transition, and they have shared the ups and downs that go along with the changes.

I hope to keep blogging, but my blog will look different, for sure!

If you pray, we would appreciate prayers as we make decisions regarding our jobs, and for the changes that our family will be going through.

We're still "happily married...just not to the cows!"


  1. You will definitely be my prayers as you make the transition. You express so well the two-handed nature of big life transitions: anxiety and grief and excitement and relief all rolled into one. Blessings on your transition. May you find joy and delight in each new thing.

  2. Alica, that is a major, major change! There is not a day goes by that I don't miss our Acreage, horses, chickens and turkeys. I for one will be praying for you😂

  3. Ps. Please, please keep on blogging!

  4. Hmmmmm time for a rebranding!! Lol. Praying for you all. ❤️

  5. Will certainly be keeping you all in my prayers.

  6. Alica, it's very sad to let go of the farm but it's so much work. It's ok for large families who can take turn so family members can take a weekend off and a little vacation now and then... Otherwise we can suffer burnout.

    It's good that you are still young enough to find other employment. For me and my husband we are getting old and worn out so it's time to retire. I'll keep you all in my prayers. It will take adjustments for sure. I'm just beginning to settle down in my new more relax routine. It will all work out for you and Jim.
    I know it will because of your statement on the last line of your blog. "Still Happily Married"

    Wishing you all the best.
    Hugs, Julia

  7. I can't wait to hear about your new adventures! I'm sure this has been a stressful decision. I hope all your new endeavors are smooth. Please keep us informed! Will you be staying on the property?

    1. Yes, we are staying on the farm! We'll rent out the ground for now, and work elsewhere.

  8. I remember when my Uncle Marcus stopped milking and became a rural postman. He was working alone for over 20 years, and like you, rarely was able to leave the farm, we always went there. he had no help, other than his brother helping out at rare times. He stayed on the farm, and planted row crops (not on the cow pastures, though) and then subdivided and sold 40 acres. I have such good memories of going there every week as a child, without realizing the grind he was going through daily. Good luck for you in your new life!

  9. I can only imagine how difficult this decision has been for you and the family. We will keep you in prayer as you go through this transition. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for you. Now that you will have a bit more free time, come and visit us and Findlay in AZ.😊

  10. I'm sorry I am so slow to respond to this post. Randy had a co-op board retreat last week, which I tagged along for. I'm slowly but surely catching up. I am a "change challenged" person, so I can't imagine the range of emotions you are experiencing right now. I pray that you will find joy in whatever paths are the "next chapter" of your lives.

    Randy & I are getting closer to retirement. Like yours, our children have chosen different career paths. It is an adjustment to think about being the fifth and final generation of a farming legacy, but as we get older, we become more and more ready to retire. These old bodies just aren't what they used to be!

    Anyway, you are in my thoughts and prayers!

  11. my prayers as you make the transition.

    keep in blogging.... have a great day


I enjoy hearing what you have to say! Thanks for your comments!