I was not raised as a sheep farmer, but I was raised around cattle and horses. My father would have a few cattle and he had horses for my sister and I to ride. Later as an adult I raised and trained horses. Then my children were born. I shared my love of horses with them, but also listened to what they were interested in. We did 4-H together raising mini rex rabbits, pigs and chickens and one year show lambs. Along with the 4-H projects we also had a pet goat, Nanny, who was quite the individual.
My children learned responsibility and the profits of hard work. As the girls raised the mini rex rabbits, showed and sold the rabbits and having a little spending money of their own. My son raised pigs, and learned the profits of selling pigs for show and butcher. They learned the circle of life – birth and death, as well as other life skills while enjoying the animals they were around.
Life changes and children grow up. They carry those lesson with them into their individual lives. Then they start having their own children. Each of my children are thankful they had the opportunity of being raised on a farm and the lessons they learned. Although they enjoyed the farm life, none of them live in the rural areas or raise animals. My son commented to me one day, that he was having to talk to his soon to be teenage son about the “birds and the bees”. He stated is was hard, as his knowledge was gained while learning on the farm. He had no reference point to use in discussing the subject with his son. They have not visited the farm often enough for his son to have the knowledge of the farm to use as a reference in the discussion.
I enjoy sharing the farm with my grandchildren. I am thankful when they can visit and learn some short lessons about animals and farm life. There is some sadness in the fact that none of my children will raise horses or sheep in the lifetime. They will not be farmers. So many of the children who grow up on farms, do not become farmers as adults and as a career.
I am a sheep farmer, I love and enjoy being with animals and raising them. I am thankful to share this love with my grandchildren on their visits. Their visits allow them to see a glimpse of what their parents’ childhood was like, the joys, work, responsibility and life lessons that sometimes occur while they are here.
What a lovely legacy!
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