If you would've told me 8 years ago, I would meet this farmer and go from a care-free city girl lifestyle to a farm girl, undoubtedly, without any hesitation I’d laugh at you.
I considered myself an animal lover back then, I never knew I had so much more love and compassion to give. I've always had pets but I would have never thought I could have been so privileged to bottle feed and watch calves grow into these beautiful cows.
Below is a picture a calf I named Little Girl, a twin rejected by her mother. She grew up living by the house and playing with the dogs. She followed us around EVERYWHERE and checked on the other animals daily. She would come feed the chickens and jumped around, just filled with joy while trying to sneak into their feed.
I'd never imagine I would have been able to or have the opportunity to raise a calf. The responsibility was fun and fulfilling, we grew together in such a way that she brought something out of me. The best way to describe that ''something'' is a new understanding of these beautiful creatures and how to love without changing its natural behaviors and tendencies. I knew I would eventually want her to become part of the herd again and she was always free to do so but chose not to. I didn't want to domesticate her too much, but it seemed I may have done just that. As many times as I would bring her to the herd she would come back to the house with her cute little ''mooo'. I figured I'd try again later. After many attempts she stayed with them. She bonded with a Belted Galloway and they became buddies. I was so happy to see that she was starting a new life but some days doing chores without her was lonely - yes I still had my dogs to keep me company. My baby grew up...
She and her belted buddy came to visit on occasion. Almost felt like she was coming to show me she was okay and she had a friend. Despite the electric fencing, she always came to visit. These two never were much for boundaries - I didn't even care.
Many times, this pair would be spotted in the middle of a freshly sprouted field grazing on only the best grasses, they often were ahead of the herd teasing. I guess its true what they say, good guys finish last.
In the end, this was giving the a practice run into motherhood. I will eventually raise a baby of my own and watch as they grow up. See them into the teenage phase and some day move out. On occasion they will come visit with their friends or partner. Its all part of the journey. For me, farming is not about earning an a few extra dollars at the end of the year. It has helped me grow in ways I could have never imagined. Respect the food on my table and feel blessed at the end of each day. I work hard 365 days a year to ensure that everyone is fed, healthy and happy.