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Guest Blog

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

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Resolutions, goals, words to live by – whatever you call it, it’s the same concept. You’re starting the year off by promising yourself and anyone who saw your Facebook post that you’ll be better than last year.

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As farmers, sometimes we think that we can power through without help. We work when we’re hurt; we work when we’re sick; sometimes, we even work when we’re in labor with our fourth child. But we need to know that asking for help doesn’t make us weak. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Like getting a cast on our arm to heal a break, seeing a mental health professional can get us on the road to healing. As my mother-in-law recently told me, “We can’t always be superman.” Don’t let mental health be your kryptonite.

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At a time when thousands of U.S. dairy operators of all sizes are starved for revenue, declaring bankruptcy or selling off multi-generational operations, the latest inequity is a particularly cruel twist of the knife.

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Growing up as a child, my mom told me a number of times how difficult it was during the Great Depression. Her family had a dairy farm but were deeply in debt, and thus had no money. But since they farmed, they grew almost all the food they ate, so in that, they were greatly blessed.

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With the holiday season at a close, it’s easy for most of us to move forward toward the New Year and lose sight of what made the last few months so special. Heart-warming feelings of generosity are soon replaced with resolutions and goals to chase. But for organizations like United Dairy Women, the New Year means new opportunities to continue giving back to those who need it most.

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In December 2018, I attended the DTN conference in Chicago. I had the opportunity to be part of a conversation regarding the future and how it affects agriculture in general and specifically dairy, as the group I was there with either have a dairy or provide feed to dairies. We had an interesting conversation regarding the byproducts we feed to our cows and what they may or may not be in five to 10 years.

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