Agriculture Makes The Perfect Classroom For Kids
I don’t know if it’s the season of life I’m in with four kids under the age of eight, or if it’s a real phenomenon that happens to everyone, but the older I get, the faster time seems to be marching on.
I can’t believe we are nearly halfway through 2022. May is always a busy season around the ranch. We are planting in the fields, fixing fence, breeding cows, and preparing to move cow-calf pairs to pasture.
The hustle and bustle of this season gets a little crazier when you add in kids’ activities, and the extra miles put on trying to get from one thing to the next.
It seems like there’s never quite enough hours in the day to get everything done, and the to-do list is always a mile long! However, we sure do love the challenge, and we figure, if we weren’t busy on the ranch, we would get bored really fast!
Because even though ranching is a difficult career at times, it’s one of those lifelong pursuits that has the added benefit of helping to raise the next generation.
Kids learn responsibilities at a young age, and they pick up the needed skills quickly to help get the job done as needed.
Already, my young children are taking ownership in the day-to-day tasks of the ranch. When they see their dad putting on his boots in the morning, they scramble to follow suit — eager to help with chores and be outside where the action is.
Overtime, we will continue to add new responsibilities, and I’m sure by the time they are teens, we will have a pretty competent crew to get things done around the place.
Yes, the days are long — with the never-ending laundry, the sink full of dishes, the mud and dirt that seems to find its way into the house, and cooking for growing kids that could eat more than most adults.
But truly, the years are short, and I can see time slipping away from me like sand running through my fingers.
There’s so much to teach them. So many lessons and opportunities to provide them with. So much wisdom to impart, and so many important values to instill.
When I feel overwhelmed that we have so much to teach our young children while they are still under our roof, I am reminded that those lessons are better “caught than taught.”
We show them how to live by doing, and it’s hard to have a better backdrop for teaching than in our own backyard on the ranch. Working in agriculture creates the perfect classroom for hands-on-learning — one that is hard to duplicate anywhere else!
This year, as I prep supplies, make lunches, and get ready for backgrounding calves, hauling pairs, and moving creep feeders to the summer pastures, I’m mindful that all of this busy work creates an exciting opportunity to teach kids important lessons while we are doing the necessary work of our cattle business.
If you’re in a season with young kids, or grandkids, who are eager to learn and excited to help, embrace it! What an awesome gift to be able to work alongside family, to mentor the next generation, and to live out a life that most can only dream of.
Today and every day, we must count our blessings that we get to live and work in agriculture alongside the ones we love. What a gift and an honor it is! Don’t you think so, too?