Can We Change the World?  

Across the United States there are countless dairy women and men working hard to care for cows so they can produce high quality milk each and everyday.  It has been an honor to get to know more of them throughout my life and especially in sharing parts of their stories via my Facebook page earlier this year during the month of June.  At this time in my life I know the dairy business as a privilege.  It is a privilege to care for the beautiful creatures, and it is a privilege to care for the land.  The land and animals are not ours, we are merely stewards of them.  It is important that we seek to improve the care of both.  Thankfully there are countless men and women doing just that.  But I also realize that there’s so much more that all of us can do no matter our vocation.  This might be shocking but did you know that most cattle in the U.S. have cleaner water than 748 million people around the world do?  To do our best, to change the world for the better is something that leaders have been inspiring for centuries.  I believe we as people no matter our industry are trying to do better.  I know that we want help our fellow man.  In agriculture I believe we are trying to transparently produce food but further than that we need systems to transport that food where it is most needed.  More than that we need people with the desire to help and to serve with no agenda.  There’s a book, ImpactWe Can Change the World, I read this year and am reviewing regularly, it is by Kirk Gilchrist.  This is the description: 

Can we change the world? Can an individual actually have a part in shaping their environment? What about the United States of America? Did God raise up this nation to effect the world? And if so, why? Impact: We Can Change the World, helps us to understand how easy these questions can be answered it illuminates the realities that we as the church world and as a nation were created for exactly this purpose — to change the world. 
This booklet both challenges and inspires as it presents the jewels that make up the crown of sacrificial giving. Giving is not only our privilege, but we are created to function best as a giving people. We are called to change the world. And we can do it! Explore the how’s, and whys and dos that transform us into the most powerful servants on the face of the earth.

Why am I reviewing this regularly??  Because God has used it to changed my life.  It has helped me to understand that we were all created by a creator to keep creating for Him.  We are designed to give.  As Ana, I am called to change the world in the way that I can.  You too are called to change the world!!  We don’t know how to do that on our own, we need guidance, to keep growing and learning.  What we can know and trust today is that God can see what we cannot and so we must follow Him to get a realistic view of how we can impact and change the world around us.  One of my favorite books says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  How can a person who is separated from his or her creator function well?  How can a branch perform if it is cut off???  For example, when a cow has a calf we have to feed it colostrum ASAP.  The calf must have the colostrum!!!  WHY??  It’s immunity, life and future depend upon it.  In the same manner our lives depend on if we are fed spiritually from our life source.  One of the details farmers know about feeding colostrum is that it needs to be done ASAP for immunity so that nothing else tries to take its place, such as bacteria.  What if we as people had the same posture in feeding ourselves from our life source?  Could it be that you are like me and you’ve been missing the ‘colostrum’ a.k.a. words of life, and are deformed inside because other ‘bacteria’ a.k.a. negative messages about your worth and your value, or your past have taken its place?  You see when a calf gets the colostrum nothing can take its place and its immune system is strengthened, but if the calf doesn’t—bacteria come in and can cause damage for months or even years to the calf’s life.  Those bacteria rob the calf all that it can be.  You were created to do something extraordinary!  There’s a plan for you, to change the world in only the way you can!  Remember, consistency is KEY!!  A calf cannot miss it’s colostrum or meals and we can’t either!!  We don’t need to give the ‘bacteria’ a.k.a. negative messages about our worth, our value or our purpose, a chance to get in to our lives and rob us of all that we can be.  I hope that this inspires you to seek life giving words each and everyday, first!   

So can we change the world?  YES!!!  We have to stay connected to a life giving source, for me there’s only one source, God’s word—the Bible.  Whatever it is that you do, you can change the world!!  You were born to be a powerful person who brings something special to all that you put your hands and mind to do.

See what this message from God in Impact:We Can Change the World can do for you, order yours here today.  The world needs you.  

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Wise Advice from Farms.com Older Farmers

My life has shown me that the elders seem to know best about many things.  Check out this one of a kind list of wise advice from farms.com.

AN OLD FARMER’S ADVICE:

1. Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

2.  Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.

3. Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

4. A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

5. Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled.

6. Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.

7. Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

8. Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

9. It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

10. You cannot unsay a cruel word.

11. Every path has a few puddles.

12. When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

13. The best sermons are lived, not preached.

14. Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

15. Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

16. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

17.  Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

18. Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none.

19. Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

20. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

21. Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

22. The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.

23. Always drink upstream from the herd.

24. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

25. Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.

26. If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

27. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Visit Farms.com and FarmOn.com for more great articles with topics covering everything the farming world! Thanks Farms.com and FarmOn.com for all that you do to promote the agriculture way of life!!!

Does Size Affect Family Farming?

As of September 12, 2014 at 4:08 p.m. ET the U.S. population is 318,867,168 people, 2% of that is 6,377,343 people.  Why did I pick out 2%?  In the United States, farmers and ranchers make up 2% of the population.  Out of the small 2%, 98% of those are family farms.  But what is a family farm?  For some people the definition of ‘family farming’ changes when a family owns a large quantity of land or cattle.  For others the quantity that a family owns makes no difference.

“The general concept of a family farm is one in which ownership and control of the farm business is held by a family of individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption. Family ties can and often do extend across households and generations. Historically, it was not uncommon for the family farm to provide all of the labor for the farm and to own all of the land and capital of the farm. That is no longer true today, although the extent to which individual farms hire nonfamily labor, rent-in land or other capital, or contract for various farm services varies greatly across farms. In short, the organization of family farms changes over time.”

The creativity that comes from the businessmen and businesswomen, the entrepreneurial spirits in agriculture, can take the “family farms changes over time” statement to great heights.  With my background in the agriculture industry I see these larger family farms as those who acquire the knowledge and skills to thrive in to what they are today.  The knowledge and skills required to thrive can come from the future generations of family members or others who decide to become a part of the family farm mission and vision for the future.  No matter the size, family farms would not thrive without the correct knowledge or skills to care for the land or animals.  I have the utmost respect for farmers and ranchers despite the size of their operations.

Watch the short videos below to learn a bit more about a couple family farms.

 

 

My Acre of Heaven

My family’s farm can sometimes be referred to as our little slice of heaven though it doesn’t come close!  We are very blessed to own land, and we also rent more by the acre for pasture to graze cattle and farm etc.  It’d be great if we as farmers wouldn’t have to pay rent for extra pasture or farmland.  Wouldn’t it be grand if the land was just given without cost, just a gift!  Well that’s not reality!  In fact when any farmer rents land or pasture there is no guarantee that it will even be productive land.  The farmer may have a great yield (A bumper crop as some may say!), but he or she may not!  Farming is a risky business, and a business that I have much to learn about.  Growing up on the farm, agriculture has become such a big part of my life that at times I falter and place it above my faith.  Thankfully God loves, teaches, and uses me continually no matter where I am.  I am grateful my parents taught me about farming from a young age, but more importantly they showed me who makes it all possible, God.  While I learned of the risks in farming at an early age; I also learned of God’s love for me and found out that I can be sure He payed the price for my sins even though I may not always be on ‘productive land’ in my life.  There’s no guarantee in farming with all the risks, but I know the one guarantee that really matters in this life.  That’s my acre in God’s Kingdom of heaven because His one and only Son Jesus ‘payed the rent’ with His life and and in return gave me the best guaranteed gift of all, eternal life—-an acre in His Kingdom!  There isn’t one thing that you and I can do for an acre in His Kingdom (aka eternal life), we can’t even rent one if we wanted!  It is a free gift from Him, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16  He loves us so much that he’d pay the full price for our sins.  All we have to do it admit our mistakes to Him, believe that He payed the price for them and live for Him.  I pray that if you don’t know the joy it is to have an acre in God’s Kingdom, you will soon.  

For my faithful readers, the day two of Brazil is in the making!  

I recently moved back to South Dakota from California.  My dad and I drove over 1,948 miles.  The last time I reset my mileage was in Caruthers, CA!  This fall I am planning to work on my family’s dairy, and from there decide whether or not I want to head off to graduate school.  It will be an adventure, that’s for sure!  Soon I will finish blogging about the amazing experiences I had in California.  The last few weeks flew by faster than I could blog!  Now, adjusting back to SD life is busy already too!  So by the end of next week I hope to have a few more videos and posts about my time with Maddox Dairy.    

Take a look into Maddox Dairy through my video blog. A great farm, great family, lots of great people. This is my second video, week two. Just shows you around the place a little more and a few other things too. Hope you enjoy! 🙂 Something not in the video, the calves are fed milk twice a day as well as grain three times a day.  Any questions email me at schweerana@gmail.com or use the ask me anything button.

Cleaning all over the farm happens everyday.  From the milking parlor, sand bedded freestalls to the bulk tank.  However earlier today I cleaned the calf barn floors, which is done everyday.  Then when I got home today I had to clean my kitchen, bathroom, vacuum the carpet and and sweep the patio outside!  Cleaning chores are sometimes things we all dread doing.  But farmers do them day in and day out to ensure the product leaving their farm is worthy of you and your family’s consumption.  Thank you Lord for creating a broom/dustpan, a hose, a pair of glove, rubber boots and two hands and feet to work with!