Rain showers are drizzling down my office window. The countryside is turning green. Brandings and turnout dates are filling up the family calendar. Spring is here.
My family has freeze branded replacement heifers, is wrapping up calving and is just starting to put tractors in the fields.
I reflected back recently on the time my husband Brian and I have put into becoming ag producers. When we first met, I had a small cattle herd and spent time helping on my family’s ranch when I could. Now, our small herd has grown and our commute to the ranch is a lot shorter than when we lived in Philip.
Six years ago Brian and I were what I called, Weekend Warriors. You can’t imagine how many people between the ages of 25-45 fall into this category. These are the men and women who have full-time jobs of some sort but on the weeknights or weekends you will find them working cattle, planting corn or fixing fence. Why? Well, because it is a step closer to the reality of being agricultural producers on a fulltime basis themselves.
Weekend Warriors pack up every Friday at five – the kids, the dog, the clothes, the food – and point the pickup in the direction of wherever or whoever’s place they are working, grazing, taking part in.
When Sunday comes Weekend Warriors pack up once again and point the pickup home. There they catch up on their own to-do lists before Monday morning rolls around again.
If you have a Weekend Warrior in your life please acknowledge their sacrifices. It’s a crazy life they lead just so they can be part of the agricultural industry.
And if your farm/ranch has Weekend Warriors, then kudos to you as well as it’s not always easy to have people come and go out of your operation.
It does seem to be the way of bringing the next generation of agriculturalists forward though. Many of our friends are or have worked town jobs with the dreams of being fulltime producers in the future. It’s a way to build capital without building insurmountable debt.
Since Brian and I don’t live at the same location as where we custom background cattle and run our cow herd we still have some aspects of the Weekend Warrior life. It isn’t as intense though. We have had more time to be horseback, chute side and in the feed truck together to talk cattle, ranching and life.
Anyway, I just wanted to give a shout out to all the Weekend Warriors out there. You know who you are. I know the joy and exhaustion you go through to be part of agriculture and I just want to say, “You’ve Got This”.