There’s nothing worse than being a dairy farmer

Now that I have your attention, let me stand on my soap box.

The other day, while browsing in a store, I happened upon a person with whom I started a conversation.

This other person just so happened to be a crop farmer. I am not sure that is significant, but I share it with you anyway.

When I told said person I owned and operated a dairy farm, he or she orated just how terrible being a dairy farmer was in his or her opinion.

I don’t remember exactly how the wording went, but it followed this thought: There is only one other thing that compares to being a dairy farmer and that’s being an inmate.


Why do people think being a dairy farmer is so terrible? Farmers that are not dairy farmers must all be pessimists!

Although I was a tad disturbed and felt like railing on this person, I bit my lower lip and positively defended dairy farmers. I explained how we get vacations, evenings off and shared stories of what dairy farming has given us.

This is the 21st century people! Dairy farming is so different than it was 20 years ago. We have technology up the wazoo; we have budgets that allow for employees; we operate our businesses like any other business in town.

Have you seen my dairy farmer husband when he walks out the door in a suit for the cooperative board meeting?

I mean he’s hot! OK, he’s super smart and hot.

I don’t know what causes negative feelings regarding choosing an occupation in the dairy industry.

Do people think they are making me feel better if they play the sympathy card?

We work hard. We are committed to the care of our animals and crops. We are committed to our families. We are active in the community.

Is that not noble?

While milking cows with my husband Tuesday morning, we got to talking about said conversation and the perceptions of dairy farmers.

Does anyone ever say, “There’s only one thing that compares to being an independent business owner and that’s being an inmate? Business owners work as hard as we do. Does society look down on individuals or families that own a shop on Main Street?

“There’s only one thing worse than being a doctor and that’s being an inmate.” Doctors are on call 24/7. They go to work and it’s all about illness and blood and injuries and people pass away.

I don’t think I have ever heard someone say, “Being the manager of a production facility is one step better than being an inmate.”

I know managers of large facilities put in as many hours as dairy farmers. I know those managers miss family events, social events and events of other types, but I bet they never get compared to an inmate.

Shiver me timbers!

I really gives me shivers to be compared to an inmate.

I know I have made poor choices throughout my life, but I have never been an inmate.

Choosing to become a dairy farmer is in no way an ill-chosen decision. It’s not like I was hammered when I made that choice. On the contrary, I had been sober for several years. I believe I was of sound mind.

Now days, most dairy farmers have four-year degrees. They go to business meeting is suits. We learn how to use technology to our advantage.

We don’t “just go out twice a day to milk the cows.”

It’s so much more than that and I wish people that are naysayers would see the big picture.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at

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