Although farmers are the foundation of our country, it seems that people don’t actually understand what it is that they really do day in and day out. For instance, there is the conception that a farmer simply feeds his animals and tends to the land each day and that is it. Additionally, there is the common idea that farmers do nothing all winter; both of these concepts are far from the truth.
A day in the life of the farmer starts early in the morning to care for and feed his or her livestock. For dairy farmers this includes hours of milking, at times, hundreds of cattle. Before starting the day and oftentimes again before ending each day, the farmer must clean his equipment and machinery. Then he works all day, oftentimes not only in the fields but running errands, organizing appointments, and managing many different people at various locations. During the Spring, the land must be tilled, plowed, and applied with anhydrous. Eventually, the farmer will plant the crops and spray them with chemicals later to prevent unwanted weeds, insects, and overall damage. While the crops grow in the summer, farmers usually attend to other work around the farm like machinery maintenance, and they move livestock around. For many livestock farmers, during these times they also have to work around the gestation periods of their stock and must be flexible to care for the health issues that may occur at unexpected times. When fall comes around, it is harvest time. This is the busiest time of the year. Not only are agriculturalists responsible for the excavation of their product from the fields, but they must also make sure the crops get into storage bins or is transferred to grain elevators by the semi-truckload. This continues on into the winter season. Although there isn’t nearly as much to do in winter, farmers certainly have their hands full. Especially in the dead of winter, it is crucial for farmers to maintain the safety and warmth of their animals. A harsh winter could be detrimental to a livestock operation. Once again, for dairy farmers especially, the winter time doesn’t mean it’s time to hang up their overalls. The animals still must be milked twice a day.
In many cases, winter is the time where farmers deliver fuel and produce, assist in the removal snow and ice from the local roads. Because this isn’t the busiest time of the year, and many people in this profession tend to get a little stir crazy when they aren’t constantly working, winter is also a time to brush up on new techniques and technologies being introduced into the industry.
Farmers never live the same day twice, and from broken down equipment to new born livestock, they can never truly plan a day until they watch it unfold before them.