Nov. 21 2018 08:00 AM

For one month, one magical, fun, twinkly-light-filled month, I choose to be grateful.

This holiday season is going to be rough for a lot of farmers across the country. Reports of farms selling out are still rolling in daily, which means that too many families will be spending their first Christmas opening their gifts shortly after they wake up. If you’re a farm kid, you know that’s not good. They’ll be facing their very first Thanksgiving and Christmas not having to milk cows. It’s every farmer’s dream, having one of the big holidays off, until it actually happens.

As for the rest of us, yes, we’ll still be toiling away. But for how long? With the current state of the dairy industry, we’re all wondering when our first Christmas morning in the house may come. We’ll spend every night praying for the change that American agriculture desperately needs, but what are we supposed to do until then?

I’ve known from a very young age that making people smile is no small feat. Especially in times like these, a smile can change someone’s entire day. So, I’m issuing a challenge. This holiday season, instead of complaining about milk prices, low feed inventory, or the laundry list of all the other completely legitimate things we could complain about, why not put some energy into making someone smile?

It doesn’t take much. Send your favorite online farmer a message telling them how much you appreciate them or drop off cookies in the barn office of a nearby farm with a fun note for everyone to share. Build a pyramid of hay bales in your front yard and paint them like a Christmas tree. I read a post online from a woman who collects Crock-Pots from farmers in her area, fills them with food, and drops them back off where they belong. How cool is that?

In 2019, we can go back to worrying about what the future may bring and how we’re going to pay our bills. For one month, one magical, fun, twinkly-light-filled month, I choose to be grateful.

So, if you live in Crawford County, Pennsylvania and have anything to do with cows, get ready. This December, with a little help from some friends, the very first Farmer Christmas Party is coming your way. Because what’s the point of being miserable if we can’t be miserable together? Plus, there will be Christmas music.

Jessica Peters

The author dairies in partnership with her parents and brother at Spruce Row Farm in Pennsylvania. Jessica is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and since 2015, she has been active in promoting dairy in her local community. You can find her and her 250 Jersey cows on Facebook at Spruce Row Dairy or on Instagram at @seejessfarm.