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Guest Blog

Read about different aspects of the industry from a variety of perspectives.

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“My husband came in at lunch and told me the statistics on farmer suicide. He told me how hopeless he felt. I was scared to let him go back to the field.” 

“I am always so angry. I yell at the kids and throw things in the milkhouse. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” 

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Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of blogs Rebecca Shaw is providing about female entrepreneurs and what the dairy industry can learn from them. In her next blog, Shaw will further explore the idea of a red team in the dairy industry.

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Ask a dairy farmer how things are going, and I bet you’ll get a familiar answer: “We’re still holding on,” which is the polite way of saying “It’s really hard right now. We’re struggling to make ends meet. We don’t know how much longer we can do this, but we’re praying something changes soon.”

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When I saw the title of a recent interview of The One Thing’s podcast, “The Gift of Struggle,” I thought: “Gift of struggle. Come on, what kind of gift is there in struggle? Anyone who thinks there is a gift in struggle probably hasn’t had much of a struggle.”

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Have you ever noticed that when you have to break some seemingly bad news to your young children, they aren’t nearly as bothered by it as you anticipated? A friend from school moves away, one of their show calves catches some strange disease and dies, or the water park plans get canceled because the hay is ready to bale.

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My summers growing up were filled with showing my horse, dogs and a borrowed cow at county fairs, the state state fair and through local horse clubs. It was an opportunity for me to show off a year of hard work, along with making friendships and memories to last a lifetime. The same goes for many producers and youth involved in agriculture. 

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