Since I grew up on a family farm, I’ve always had a desire to raise my own children on a farm.
I thank my upbringing for everything from my love for the outdoors and animals to my work ethic and career path. Currently, we are raising our four-year-old daughter on the same farm her dad grew up on—a fifth-generation farm to care for the animals and land here.
While many of these lessons can be learned in other ways too, here are ten of the things I am most excited to pass down to our children from life on the farm.
When you live on a farm, you are often out at all hours and in all different weather. No matter what, the animals need to be cared for first.
Many kids that grew up on a farm take ownership of their own projects early on, whether it’s a garden, their own animals, or helping farm the land. Many use these projects in 4-H or FFA. There is always work to be done, no matter how small you are! You learn hard work early, and you learn that there is no hand too small to help.
3. Caring for Others
You learn quickly what it means to be selfless, and to really care for others—the land, the animals, and your family.
4. The Miracle of Life
I’ll never forget the first time my daughter saw a baby lamb born, or when she first saw piglets nursing. She had so many questions and so much excitement. It was amazing to see it through her eyes and to watch her develop a deep love for the animals we work with.
Life on the farm isn’t all hard work—it’s a lot of fun too.
My daughter has been driving an electric “tractor” since she could push the gas pedal. Now, she often practices steering sitting on her dad’s lap. One day, I imagine she’ll be running the feed cart and helping her dad in the field!
I mean, we clean out the pig barn every day. Our fingernails have traces of our gardening work. Our shoes are muddy from splashing in puddles, and our clothes have hay from crawling in the mound. There is no reason to be afraid to get a little dirty and have some fun while you’re at it!
7. 4-H and FFA
Many kids who grow up on a farm are involved in these activities, and get to attend the best weeks of the year with their family—County Fair and State Fair! You get to play with your friends, exhibit your projects, and reap the rewards of all of your work.
8. Nature is beautiful
From a young age, farm kids are often outdoors with their parents. Year-round, we care for our animals and our land, and kids help and explore while we do. You develop a love for nature early! We love everything from gardening to hiking together. There’s nothing like seeing the corn first pop up out of the ground in the spring after a long winter, and busy planting season is a feeling like no other.
These, along with many other others, are some of the reasons I’m so passionate about raising my kids on the farm.
I love the time with my family spent outdoors, and the pride of a day’s hard work. Most of all, I’m excited to see the family passion grow in her heart and to watch her as she learns the lessons that the livestock and land have to teach. I can’t wait to see her develop her own place on the farm and see what she has to bring to it as the newest generation.
What are you looking forward to passing down in your family? From recipes, to lifestyle, to hobbies; we’d love to hear it!
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