June 14 2017 11:00 AM

Farmers must make time, quality time, for the people who are most important.

Take a moment and picture your life of cows, crops, and family. Now imagine the worst case scenario for your business. Maybe it’s a natural disaster. Maybe it’s government related. Or maybe, just maybe, the market did not play in your favor and you lost it all. Not a good feeling, is it?

Now think about what you’d have left. What is your most valuable possession you would give the world to keep? For most, it would be your family, your spouse and kids. What would you give to make sure they had the best possible advantage in life? What if it was as easy as quality time?

With life being as uncertain as it is, we must consider what is truly important. I know many of you would fight the devil in hell until it froze over to protect your kids and spouse, but how many of us put our family on the back burner because we are “too busy.” We all know cows need to be milked and some tasks cannot wait until the morning; but on the other hand, there are some things that will be just fine if dealt with tomorrow.

From a young age I loved to work, and almost every summer I would spend my time working on the family farm. As I aged, like a fine wine I might add, I married my best friend and made her my wife. Through our relationship I was blessed with two handsome little boys, who want to spend time with daddy, and a wife who wants to speak to a coherent adult.

I saw that my family wanted to spend time with me, so when I got home after a long day I would make sure I was accessible to both my wife and kids. Accessible, however, did not mean engaged. I was physically and mentally exhausted and all the while planning the next day, while the kids were playing and my wife was cooking us dinner.

I thought that is just how life was until I learned that quantity of time had no relation to quality time. Long hours are not easily avoided, and hard days at work are eminent, but your family will always be there for you.

Today, I present you a challenge. When you get home, leave the B.S. of the day next to your boots by the door. (Don’t worry, it will still be there waiting for you in the morning.) Take a deep breath and be actively engaged with your family when you get home this week. Help your spouse with dinner, roll on the floor with your kids, and watch how the problems that were left next to your boots seem to shrink in size.

Take the challenge and encourage your friends. You will be glad you did.

Tyler Ribeiro

Tyler Ribeiro is a fourth generation dairy farmer born and raised in California. He is currently partners with his father at Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare where they proudly ship their milk to Land O Lakes. Tyler is actively involved in the dairy industry, holding leadership roles in various organizations locally and across the United States.