Doing the Right Thing

In some ways it seems odd that my first post in almost 6 months would be about such a challenging topic. It’s not a super feel-good return to the blog.

But then, the last 6 months here on the farm have been a little challenging in their own right, so in other ways it seems entirely appropriate.

And here’s the thing about challenging situations. The right thing … isn’t always the easy thing.  This was certainly one of those times.

A few weeks ago, we brought some new cows into the herd to run on shares.

That means that someone else owns the cows, and we care for them. Feeding, calving, vet work….just like they were our own.  Then we split the income from the calves in a prearranged percentage.

Unfortunately, one of the cows came off the truck in pretty tough condition. In fact, several of them did.

We called our vet to come as soon as possible. And his diagnosis left a sick feeling in the pit of our stomachs.

Thankfully, most of the girls we were concerned about could be healed up, but it would take a pretty high powered antibiotic.

And that didn’t bother us a bit. It was the right thing to do. The antibiotic will work its way through & out of their systems, and they’ll go on to lead a healthy, happy life.

But for one cow, there was no such news. She was too sick. Too far gone. Hurting too much.  And the vet recommended euthanizing her.

It’s a recommendation that’s never given lightly, and we didn’t take it lightly. Not only did it mean losing a costly investment. It meant taking an action directly in opposition of everything we know.

As farmers and ranchers, it’s in our DNA to grow things. To support and nurture life. Not to take it.

As human beings and humanitarians,…we’re hard wired to do the right thing.

Today we would remember that the right thing and the easy thing aren’t always the same thing.

It wasn’t the first time the Farmer had been tasked with this job. And it wouldn’t be the last. But this isn’t something that gets easier with practice.

And so on a bitterly cold, cloudy day…, with a racing pulse and a heavy heart, the Farmer took his aim, and did what needed to be done.

I held his hand as we walked back to the pickup, and tried to make conversation on the way home, about the kids, book work, …anything. But we settled for awkward silence instead.

For any of you that follow our blog, you know I love to write about the history & heritage and the fairy tale life we lead here on the farm.

But it’s not always about that. And to be truthful, some days are more like a nightmare than a day dream.

And that’s our reality.

But in all of it, on any given day, we continue to choose it. Because we love it. Because we’re growing the food that feeds the world, and we think that’s a pretty important job. And because for us, it’s the right thing to do.

I’ll see you soon on the Farm!  -Shauna

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