Sept. 29 2020 02:45 PM

Make some time for your top priorities.

Nothing puts into perspective what is truly important like the possibility of losing it all.

I think we all have, in the back of our mind, where our priorities lie. Family probably tops the list for most — what wouldn’t we give for our children, spouse, and extended family?

For dairy farm families, it’s usually the farm that follows in a very close and mixed-up second. The lines between family and farm are often so very blended. Operating a dairy farm is almost always the driver behind the flow of our family life.

It’s a choice we’ve all made. Yet sometimes it takes a crisis, like a wildfire, to remind us we need to prioritize what is truly important in life.

That’s easier said than done when you have farm responsibilities 365 days a year. But guess what? Every once in a while, it’s okay and healthy to say you need an afternoon as a family. The work will still be there and can wait for the couple of hours you need for your down time.

Whatever that looks like for your family, make it a priority! It feels like there’s some unspoken rule in agriculture that taking time for yourself is not okay. The chores will still be there and will still get done even if you step away for a couple of hours. Go get the lunch in town. Go on the hike or favorite family adventure.

Go and take the time to prioritize what is important in your life, whether it is farm-related or not. You won’t regret it, I promise!

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.