Every day we serve. We serve our family, our cows, and our community. Without fail, we find ourselves making time to be there for both people and animals, and we are good at it.
As dairy farmers, we don’t always think of ourselves as servants, but it’s our specialty. How many times have you stayed up longer than you wanted to because there was an animal that needed your attention? How many times have you passed up on a chance to sit down when your child asked you to play? And when was the last time you turned a blind eye to someone in need that asked for your help? I would guess very few times if ever. Why? Because it’s in our nature.
It is in our blood to be stewards of the land and take care of its needs. It is engrained into us that the needs of animals come before our own wants. And it is woven into our genes to be there for our family and friends as much as we can. It is evident that we as a dairy community have a servant’s heart.
I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of dairymen and women from around the world, and the story is the same. For example, with the incredible cold spell that hit so much of the country, there were many people struggling just to traverse through the snow. In one case, there was a dairyman that could not feed his cows due to the massive amount of snow blocking his barn. A friend from another state heard what happened and immediately took to the internet, asking if anyone could help. Within minutes, there were offers flying in, people willing to leave their farm to help another in need.
That is amazing.
I am proud to be a part of a community that gives so much of itself even when there is little left to give. Are you?
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.