As farmers we work in seasons…and I don’t usually mean the traditional seasons that we all work around. I mean, harvest season, fertilizer season, rainy season, the all too familiar “it’s way too hot/cold season”…and then there is “meeting season.”
I tell people often that as farmers we rarely slow down. Yes while harvest might be over, and the 14 hr days seven days a week aren’t our hours for the whole year, our work never seems to end it just changes. This week for me is no different, this week traditionally marks the start of my meeting season. Which means that I go to meetings of all kinds…so here is just a taste of the week I have coming up, not much tractor time for me!
Yesterday I got to sit in front of a computer for an online meeting to satisfy my pesticide licensing requirements.
Today I am a speaker talking to those who aren’t in the farming business. I’ll be speaking at the Oregon Leadership Summit about the future of farming.
Tonight is my EMT meeting for our volunteer fire department.
Tomorrow I get to learn at a leadership conference of how to be a better farmer and employer.
Wednesday and Thursday I get to participate in the House of Delegates to set policy for our state farm bureau.
Friday I get to do some of the fun stuff like be on TV to help people ear about our great grass seed industry that we have here in Oregon. Tune in to AM Northwest on Friday December 9th to see me and Jesse Rue!
So sometimes…I look like this as a farmer, and sometimes I look not too farmer-ish.
I have to say though that these are great opportunities for us to all learn more about our industry. Whether it be a presentation on the weather, new crop protection tools, or markets around the world, it all plays into what a farmer plans for and works towards in the year to come. It’s also very fun to get to see those folks who you don’t run into very often out in a field. In the end I’m just a farmer, but the hats I wear may vary greatly from season to season, but it’s all for our farm for our land and our legacy!
Well it’s that time of year again. People from all over, put on their dusty (or brand new) boots and head out to St. Paul, Oregon for a show that they will never forget. The St. Paul Rodeo is celebrating 81 strong years. In a town of only 322 it’s incredible that we can find the room to welcome over 60,000 folks on this weekend every year. But it’s a family tradition that lasts generations for many, it’s a way of life for others, but for many of us it’s a weekend of reuniting with old friends, cheering on those brave enough for an 8 second ride, and celebrating our freedom and all that comes with the good ‘ol 4th of July.
It’s flags flying and the pride you feel as Mary Ann Zielinski belts out the National Anthem more beautifully than you have ever heard.
It’s cold beer on a warm night. It’s dusty and dirty, with BBQ sauce and elephant ears. It’s carnival rides and parish chicken dinners. It’s freedom and fun, maybe in the end it’s just a small taste of all that I love about America.
It’s also a testament to the hard work that this community is no stranger to. From the ticket takers and beer pourers, to the firemen and EMTs, it’s all one big volunteer effort to keep everyone well fed, well hydrated, safe and having a great time!