May 29 2018 02:30 PM

We all know that it won’t take just one minute.

How many times have we heard this question in our various roles on the farm? Probably countless, and we all know it’s never for just a minute! That’s probably one of the earlier lessons we learn on the farm.

So we can cuss and shake our heads at whatever doom it is that has landed us in this position of helping for just a minute, but it won’t change our fate. We know full well, especially if it’s the repair of something, that we will not be getting back to our regularly scheduled work in any reasonable amount of time.

And yet the lesson that lies in this “minute” is not in the amount of time that it will take. Rather, no matter how long the minute, what matters is that we are willing to help.

Dairy farming is truly about cooperation and the team effort that goes into making the jobs, whether short or long, run smoothly.

Dairy farming is such a unique working environment. Often times it’s multiple generations working together everyday. And well, anytime you mix a group of strong-willed farmers together, whether it’s family or not, there’s bound to be conflicts. Keeping that teamwork attitude at the front of your mind can help make every job run smoother.

So next time you get asked “Can I get your help for just a minute?” simply laugh and try to embrace the team spirit that makes dairy farming possible. At the very least you’ll come away with dirty hands and a heart full of the real reason we love this dairy farming life.

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of two young boys who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.