We recently invested in a small, 3 sided shed. An investment that will provide large returns on our original investment. Not the kind of returns a banker or accountant might calculate (although you never know!). We’re investing in our children and their futures.
If you drove by our place, you might wonder why in the world would we get a shed for livestock – there’s a feedyard right across the road! Well… while someday our kids may have responsibilities at the feedyard, they can’t operate a feedtruck or a chute, so there’s not much they can do but watch or ride along (which they love to do).
Our plan with this shed is to have a small amount of livestock at our house, so that we have a “project” close by that our kids will have associated responsibilities. Chores.Something every kid needs (not necessarily animal related, but some sort of chores). And because we’re just animal people. Not the kind that have pets on their laps and treat them like children (although we love our pets), but the kind that love caring for livestock. We want to pass that love of livestock on to our kids. And truth be told… I want to have some livestock at our place to care for.
That’s how it works. Kids learn how animals behave and how to care for them by watching their parents (or someone else). And they learn about responsibility. I remember when I was a kid (don’t you wish you had a dollar for every time you’ve heard that) on Saturday morning when I wanted to stay in pjs and watch cartoons… but our 4-H cattle needed to be fed. We didn’t eat until they ate.
For non-farm consumers, this probably doesn’t make much sense. It might not even make sense to our fellow farmers who aren’t livestock producers! The reason I share this is to provide an example of how we learn about what we, as livestock producers, do… and that we do it because we are animal people.
Although we aren’t starting a project that we expect to be a big money maker, we’re starting a project we believe to be much more important to the future.