My husband grew up on a dairy farm and milked twice a day every day for years.  So, I think we all can agree that he can call himself a farmer.  I wonder sometimes if and when I get to say that I’m a farmer or a rancher.  Is it a certain number of experiences or more the kind of experiences?  Or is when I log an exact number of hours spent doing what you think of when you think about farming and ranching?  Is it when I weep over the loss of a calf at birth?  Is it when I milk a goat twice a day, not just once, but for months?  Is it when I spend hours with a new mama goat so she lets her newborn babies latch on to her sore teats?  Is it when I unload fifty bales of hay or carry thirty bags of feed?  Is it when I know the exact cuts I want the butcher to do?  What about when I can back up a trailer into a narrow space (it’s harder than you think!)?  How many main and side dishes do I need to make from our food raised in our garden and in our pastures?  How many muck boots do I need to wear out before I can say I farm or I ranch (I think I’m on my sixth pair)?  Or is it simply enough that I’ve daily cared for horses, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, dogs, and cats for several years now?  Yesterday, I separated a single sheep from our flock, which isn’t an easy feat on your own.  I could’ve used a border collie who knows how to herd…hint, hint (that’s a hidden message to my husband who’s still reading his how to train herding dogs book).  I then loaded the lone sheep onto our trailer without a hitch.  I knew my husband left for work not thinking I could do it.  So, I proudly texted before I started out driving our farm truck and trailer to meet up with him, “Who’s the farmer’s wife now?”  But maybe I could’ve left out “wife?”

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