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Farming Is My Life: Why I married a rancher

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

I’ve never met Alice Stuart, but she isn’t unique to me. I’ve met lots of farmers who feel exactly the same way she does. And I would like to meet her too. Alice is from Edam, Saskatchewan and was one of many farmers and ranchers across Canada who submitted essays to the Farming Is My Life contest. The contest was an opportunity for farmers and ranchers to write about their profession and what drives them to choose the rewarding, yet often challenging, lifestyle of the farmer in Canada. Alice’s winning entry appeared in Cattlemen’s Magazine in January. Here it is in her own words…

Why I married a rancher

My aunt and uncle visited from Calgary a few years ago at Easter — we were up at 6 a.m. and back in for breakfast at 7:40 a.m. They slept in until 9:30. As we sat drinking coffee and visited, Uncle Bill looked at me in the eye and asked, “Why do you do this?” I had no immediate answer for him. Over the next few weeks I pondered, “Why indeed?” Was this just an idle question or a question intended to really make me think? Well, believe me, it made me really think. Why do we do this, working together as a family — not always happily, but working together nonetheless? Years later we sit back and listen to our adult children talking about “when we were kids.” Thinking way back then and knowing now that it is the very best place in the world to raise your kids — it’s not an easy life, but it is a good life.

The sunrises
The sunsets
The smell of clothes dried on the line
The feel of a cool crisp wind on your face
The smell of rain
The absolute breathtaking wonder of a starry winter night
The calm and serenity of an early spring morning with geese flying over and the sound of an owl hooting in the background
The reward of working side by side toward a common goal: sharing in the good times and supporting each other in the bad ones
Knowing that each day you will have at least one moment when the beauty around you will stop you in your tracks
Knowing that the really big things in life are really the little things
Never worrying about your safety as you leave your house in the early morning or late evening to go for a walk
Knowing that when you crawl into bed at night that you have put in a good day and almost always feeling physically tired and ready to go to sleep
Being back here on the farm when your “young ones” come home and bring their “young ones” so they have an opportunity to experience some of their good memories

As difficult as it can be each and every day, (there is) the absolute wonder of seeing that first calf hit the ground in the spring and knowing that you are excited and ready to tackle another year.

And last, but not least, of the many things I am absolutely sure of, I am with who I am meant to be with and I am living where I am meant to be…

Could it get any better?

I am living this life with my very best friend and I am living where God intended me to be.

Could anyone ask for more?

- Alice Stuart writes from Edam, Sask.

This appeared in Cattlemen Magazine On-line, January 25, 2021

Until the next BLOG.


Posted by OFAC on May 20th, 2011 :: Filed under Beef cattle,Canada,Farm life
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