In a 24-hour period, you only have so much time to get things done. On the farm, it seems like you need at least 25! Then you mix in family life and things start to get crazy!
How in the world can you get it all done? A whole lot of caffeine? Or, maybe you make the decision that it’s okay for some things to wait for tomorrow.
There are a lot of things that cannot wait until tomorrow, but there are some that can, and it is up to you to make that decision. For example, I will always put my wife and kids first. Even if the world burns down around me, they are my constant. After them is everything else.
It sounds easy on paper, but real life is messy, and sometimes work and family overlap. For example, the other day I ended up with all three of my kids (ages 6, 5, and 1) while my wife was at an appointment in town she couldn’t miss during the time I had to feed calves. Now, normally I would not entertain the thought of taking all three of them with me to feed calves, nor would I picture it as a fun time, but I didn’t see another option. The baby calves had to eat!
So, off the four of us went. We had a job to do, one way or the other. Long story short, when we got home, we all had to strip down outside before entering the house due to what can only be described as a muddy massacre. I’m not entirely sure what happened, but I know these are moments the kids will never forget.
Was it how I planned it? No. Am I glad there’s beer in the fridge? You better believe it! But we made it through. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked!
Prioritizing is not easy. Sometimes you have to make a hard call, but there are times it turns out like this and creates a memory we will never forget!
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.