May 3 2016 06:00 AM

If I ever lose my sense of wonder about a newborn calf or the first time we turn out our herd to graze in spring, then it's time for me to change occupations.

cows on pasture
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

How easily some of the classic song lyrics can work their way into our minds. Almost to the point where the lyrics lose their meaning . . . almost like the little everyday things that sometimes get over looked in the dairy industry.

This is a profession of repetition, the same song and dance to a degree every day. Especially when times are hard, like now, I find these little favorite things are most important to keep me going.

There's not a date all year long that refills my dairy farming spirit like turning the cows out to pasture for the first time in the spring. Their excitement as the gate opens. Eagerness and energy as they kick their heels up. Sometimes, downright chaos. Then, the calm, as the herd settles to graze, nap in the sun, and just enjoy the pasture.

There is not a unique moment that brings more to my day than welcoming a newborn calf. In fact, the day that moment loses its wonder is the day I should find a new occupation. As they take their first breath. Take in their surroundings, shake wet ears, and wobble on new legs. Welcoming the future of our herd never ceases to amaze me.

There's no greater satisfaction then watching a cow reach a milestone. Finally accomplishing that production goal. Bringing home that blue ribbon, chasing purple. Watching your herd thrive on a new ration formulation. To have your dedication, passion, and investment reflected in their accomplishments is the greatest success.

Sometimes those moments, those little things are hard to grasp in the daily hustle and bustle of dairy life. At the end of the day, when we reflect and remember, those things are what keep our passion and spirit alive. If ever there was an industry that survives on passion and spirit, it's the dairy industry. If ever there was a time to remember our favorite things, it is now.

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels . . . what are a few of your favorite things?

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 is in the process of transitioning to a robotic milking system.