Farmers may be the ultimate Jack-of-all-trades. Usually born out of necessity, the farmer is the caretaker, the vet, the planter/harvester, the mechanic and the all-around fix-it man. This is an irreplacable quality of the average farmer, but, does the farmer have to be that all-around man?
God created us all uniquely with different interests, abilities and desires. As a mom, I can see great differences in each of my kids. While they both desperately want to grow up to be farmers, each one is drawn to different aspects of the farm. One kid loves to garden and the other wants to know how everything works and how to fix it when it is broken.
Through the years, we have come to embrace each team member's strengths and weaknesses and adapted our farm accordingly. We encourage everyone to be involved in all parts of the farm, but have realized that some are better at one thing and others better at another thing. Don't force someone to do something just because. Instead, work with their strengths and move them away from their weaknesses.
Find Your Strengths
What are the things that you are better at?
What do you really enjoy doing and what to you despise? (Considering that most of us despise mucking stalls, that doesn't mean that you always get out of that job)
In my day job, I work in an accounting office. I am computer and finance minded. Daniel's day job is mechanical. Naturally, I am the one doing the bookkeeping and computer work. Daniel is out there fixing the tractors and equipment. It is what we were each made to do.
That doesn't mean that I don't go out and do chores occasionally or that Daniel isn't sending any e-mails....unless it can't be done on an iphone. Daniel hates the computer and I am not fond of sticking my hand up the back side of a cow. We choose to do those things that we are more comfortable and better equipped to do.
Once you have decided what you are better at and how you are going to divide responsibilities, become the best in your area. Become the "farm specialist" in your niche and learn all that you can about the subject.
If it is not your specialty area, free up your mind and energy and worry about other things. Isaac is a master at pedigrees. When it comes to who's mom is who and which cow is out of which sire, Isaac has it down. We quickly learned to not even tax our brains with trying to remember...just ask Isaac. He will have the answer before we are even half way there. Instead of fretting and trying to retain an overwhelming amount of information about each cow, we just delegate that task to the one that knows it best.
Walker is our feed master. He and Isaac are out in the barn every morning and evening feeding the cows. While Daniel directs the overall feed rations, he usually can't tell you exactly how much each cow gets of what feed. Feed is constantly changing and Walker has it down pat. Don't tax the brain...just ask the kids.
Divide and Conquer
Use your specialties to divide and conquer. When you have found your niche and made it your specialty, you can go ahead and complete your tasks while freeing up others on the farm to do the same with their tasks.
Hay season means all hands on deck. We all have our assigned jobs and are out there together to accomplish one common task.
On the average day, I can be found in the kitchen, laundry room or office while the boys are out cleaning stalls and Daniel is clipping on a cow. We get a lot accomplished while we are all in separate places all completing our different tasks.
Farming is a family adventure and we strive to do as much as we can together. Not to mention that many hands make light work. However, sometimes it makes more sense to go your separate ways and accomplish twice as much.
Whether God has gifted you with many talents and abilities or just one special gift, you can still find your perfect place on the farm. Take the time to find your niche and make it yours. There is no better way to become indispensable than to be the best at what you do. Then, use your specialties to divide and conquer as you work toward a common goal on the farm.
My niche on the farm is being the behind the scenes person that keeps everyone and everything in order. What is your niche?
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.