Nov. 15 2016 02:00 AM

Dairy farming isn’t easy, but amid all the difficulties, we should stop to be thankful.

This past year in the dairy industry has been tough. The roller-coaster ride of this life can sometimes take a heavy toll on your view and attitude. It’s easy to forget about all the things that make this way of life worth it.

November and the holiday of Thanksgiving is a great time to refocus your mind and heart on the things that really matter. And remind yourself how much we truly have to be thankful for despite the hardships.

For myself, Family is at the top of my list that I am thankful for. I think we often take for granted how lucky we are to work in a family-oriented industry. You don’t find generations working together very often. I am thankful on our farm that it is three generations working side-by-side every day. That my husband and I, in partnership with my parents, can teach our boys how special that family bond is to our farm.

I am also thankful for the Cows. I have so much admiration for these beautiful bovines’ ability to turn feed into milk. It’s an honor and a privilege to have their care entrusted to me. There is such a sense of pride and accomplishment in seeing them thrive and succeed.

And finally, I am thankful for the Dairy Industry. Although at times this way of life can feel isolating, this industry truly is an extended family across the nation and world. Brought together by a nutritious product — milk, providing that for the consumer truly is something to be proud of. Just think, without milk, there would be no whip cream for pumpkin pie and that truly is something everyone should be thankful for.

Although it can be hard, I encourage you to take a deep breath and truly focus on the things for which you are thankful. I think you will find with a positive mindset, there is more than you realize.

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.