Raising a Farmer

Alot of work but always room for laughter

Farm Meetings: big or small

on February 23, 2016

Farm meetings are a very important part of farming.  For us it is a way to give our farm a voice and a vote.  You have heard the saying, “there is the meeting but things are decided at the parking lot meeting.”  Through out the year Nathan and I have lots of”parking lot” meetings.  These are usually held in the barn, in the kitchen,  in the truck or in the yard.  Lots of things are decided during milking.  After going through a not so great farm transition Nathan and I decided giving the farm a vote was at the top of our list for our future.  We recognized with poor communication the farm is the first to suffer.

How do we give the farm a vote?  We try to have quarterly farm meetings.  In attendance, Nathan and I.  One of us will send an email to the other requesting a meeting and what will be discussed.  By doing this, it sets the tone of the meeting.  We typically meet at the kitchen table but we have squeezed in a meeting during a long drive in the truck.  It gives each of us time to process and think of new goals or where we need to do better.  We each come with our own notes.  By doing this, we are not influencing each other and we are validating each others opinions with out needing to say anything.  We each have own ideas and we each have our own opinions.  We don’t talk just farm talk.  Our farm and our family overlapped, intertwined and move as one, so we put everything on the goal sheet.  Adding a sandbox, planting a tree, what things are important to each other is added to the goal sheet.  We have immediate goals, short term and long term.  We bring out the sheet from the previous meeting, cross off what we accomplished and revisit where we need work and where we can do better.  During the meeting we take notes.  The question we always ask ourselves and each other when adding a new goal/change, “How is this going to affect the farm, good or bad?”   For us our small farm meetings help keep us on track and focused on what is important for our farm and for our young family.  It helps prevent “disagreements” because I know what is important to Nate and he knows what is important to me.

It helps our marriage too.  We are able to distinguish better where life’s frustrations are coming from, the farm or the house.  There are days that I wish Nate was just my husband and there are days I wish he was just my business partner.  More days than not I am so thankful I am able to problem solve, love on and rejoice in our small accomplishments with my husband and business partner everyday.

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Farm Meeting 2015, you can see Nate used a box tab for his notes.

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Start of our Farm Meeting 2016, still smiling 

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Farm Meeting 2016

 

 


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