May 23 2023 01:30 PM

When we’re stuck, it’s okay to ask for help before things get worse.

What is it about farm kids and mud puddles? They’re like moths to a flame! The two seem to be a magnet to each other.

My 2-1/2 year-old is in a true farmer fashion with a go-all-day type of personality. He doesn’t let anything slow him down. Usually, his mud puddle excursions end up more as mud swimming lessons. This mud season is “affectionately” known as extra laundry season as well.

The other day he surprised me, though. His mud puddle exploration ended with his boots fully stuck in some very thick mud. Instead of just forging ahead, and probably ending up sock footed in the mud with boots full of water, he stopped and asked for help.

I know there are lots of times in farming we can find ourselves in over our boots. It’s hard to learn in this fast-paced life that it is okay to slow down and stop to ask for help. I feel lucky in the dairy industry that when we do have a problem that feels like it could fill our boots, there are experts, research, and help in just about every area.

The next time you feel stuck in the mud, ask for help. We are always learning, no matter our age. Strive to do better, and problem solving serves all of us in the dairy industry for the better.

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.