Let’s talk about fog really quick, shall we? In my hometown, we get some pretty impressive fog. I’m talking about the “Where did my house go?” kind of fog. It’s the type of fog that makes you want to tie a rope to your truck just so you can find it again. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but when cows get out in this kind of fog, it does take a few hours to find them.
The fog can be extremely dangerous, and when you haven’t seen the sky or the sun for a month, it can be depressing.
As the fog rolls in and visibility diminishes, it can get really easy to take the visual for what it is: gray and boring. It can get increasingly difficult to step back and see the larger picture. A lot of times, we get focused on the here and now and don’t quite look past the fog that’s in front of us. With the blurred vision of the fog, it’s not always apparent the direction in which we should go.
Sometimes, we see the fog and automatically call it quits because it looks too hard to traverse. In a lot of ways, on a farm, we get stuck in the proverbial fog and have a hard time walking through it. Things start to get tough; winter starts settling in, the days are getting colder and the nights longer, and it starts to weigh on you.
Other times, it’s a decision that needs to be made. Do we dry her off early? Do I change the ration? If I invest in this, will it help me or hurt me? How do I make sure that my hard work and sacrifice is not in vain?
So many questions to be answered, so many worries to be had, and yet the fog seems to never lift.
There is one thing that I have learned watching the weather: The fog always dissipates with the sun. When the sun comes out, it brings with it a bright light and the warmth of a heavy blanket. When the fog lifts, you realize how beautiful the sky is and you appreciate the fluffy clouds.
Fog is never permanent; it is always temporary. It just needs a little sunlight to make the path visible again.
Are you the sunlight for someone’s fog?
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.