Updated: Dec 30, 2020
From farming to advocating back to farming, 2020 has me flipped, turned upside down.
Everything is great, Everything is grand...
This picture shows how I wrapped up 2019. H6 Livestock, my 15 acre farm was growing, babies were being born (cows and goats), and I even started creating my own chicken breed. It was a lot of work running a farm when my full time job was off the farm, but it was worth it. My favorite part about working on a farm is I feel that much closer to God and get to see his miracles every day.
Enter 2020 (cue sinister music)
The thing about my small farm was I leased the 10 acres adjacent to my own to make the full 15 acres. I had leased this land for nearly 10 years, and from two separate landlords. It was a year to year lease that was signed in December each year, but when January 2020 came around without a new lease agreement I began to worry. That worry was well warranted as I soon found out the leased land had been sold again, and this time the owners wanted the animals off the land immediately upon signing (a two week notice). With only five acres of my own, and no other land around to lease, I was forced to sell off my small herd of cattle (11 head) and all of my boer goats. < I was crushed > Some of these cows were my first cows that I bought as calves, others I picked up along the way, but all of them were important to me- a piece of my identity.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...
To keep myself in the agriculture world- and to keep my self worth (I was really struggling with my new identity)- I rebranded my page "H6 Livestock" to Farmer Advocate and began telling the stories of other farmers and ranchers across the country. This was my way of not only supporting my friends, but also proving to everyone (though really to myself) that I still had a place in agriculture even though I was no longer farming.
Things are looking up
Taking a step back from my own farming and talking with other people in agriculture really helped me see that I had nothing to prove, that I do have a place in agriculture as a storyteller, and I also learned new ways to farm. With this new knowledge (and getting my head back on straight) everything else started coming back together for me. I am now slowly building the farm back up and headed in a new direction that I'm excited about. It sure does feel good to be farming again!