Nov. 24 2020 09:00 AM

Keeping our farm and family safe this year is a real blessing.

The year 2020 has been quite the roller coaster ride. I’d say being dairy farmers who are used to ups and downs may have given us a little better handle on how to deal with this crazy year, but it certainly hasn’t been what any of us were expecting.

As we enter the holiday week for Thanksgiving, this year definitely has me focusing on counting our blessings and all that we have to be thankful for!

Topping the list is that our farm survived the wildfires in Oregon undamaged. Two months after the threat has left our backyard, we took a drive this past weekend up the Santiam Canyon, where some of the worst of the fire damage occurred. It was gut-wrenching and heart-breaking.

Piles of ash were all that were left of some homes. There was twisted and melted metal in other locations and the shells of burnt-out cars. An entire corridor of towns brought to its knees.

While we all might not have faced literal flames this year, the toll it has taken in so many areas feels great. There is no doubt there have been countless times that the dairy industry brings those within its realm to their knees. The challenges we face daily and yearly through the downs of the roller coaster ride can be all-consuming.

But when we pause to look at all that is around us, I think we can find so very much to be thankful for! What are you thankful for this year? I hope you do take the time to find those things, little and big, and truly appreciate them.

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 young sons 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 transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.