July 12 2016 06:14 AM

This isn't just my work; it's my passion.

I recently saw a quote that really struck me and made me think about how lucky we are in the dairy industry.

The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling - Fabienne Fredrickson

I say lucky because we get to answer our passion's call with our life's work.

The dairy industry is one of the easiest places, I think, to identify passion behind everyday work. You don't choose this lifestyle of working 365 days a year unless something in your very core appeals to the hardships of this industry. Either that or we are all just crazy, which in part I'm sure has something to do with it!

Many people I know wait to fill the calling of their passion during the weekends. Their workweek, their job, is not something that they can truly say they are passionate about.

Whenever I speak to a fellow dairy farmer, I can see the spark of passion behind even the most mundane of jobs. Even on the hardest of days, when we are definitely thinking it's more the crazy in us that propels our every day, there's something unique and special about the combination of passion and job.

I don't think you can bring a newborn calf into this world and not see wonder as it takes it's first breaths. In the same way, you get to feel the pride of raising healthy and strong calves that will join your herd, and you can take in the satisfaction of a barn full of contented and healthy cows. This job allows you to watch the sunset in all its glory over a field of productive crops.

At the end of the day, even with an overtired body, there is just something so fulfilling in knowing your day's work was truly answering the call of that which you are passionate about.

Answering the call to the dairy lifestyle is so much more than just finding work. That's true whether we were born into it and couldn't imagine any other life or realized at some point in our life we didnt want to be anywhere else. Somewhere along the road, something called us to this life, which we are lucky enough to call our work, as well.

Passion, that's what you find at the very foundation of the dairy industry. I'm so glad we are lucky enough to get to answer its call with our everyday work.

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.