Agriculture & Livestrock: A tribute to farm and ranch dads

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Diane Prather

In the course of their businesses, farm and ranch dads work in the fields, feed livestock in the winter, work cattle and sheep, watch cows and sheep at all hours during calving and lambing seasons, plow snow, and a lot more.

Not only that, but they often work away from home, too.

However, no matter how much work they have to do, farm and ranch dads always have time for their families.

As a matter of fact, they’re experts at spending quality time with their kids (even though they may not realize it).

And so, as Father’s Day rolls around, consider the following examples of things that farm and ranch dads do that make them so special. (The examples are taken from real life experiences.)

• Taking time, at the request of a 4-year-old daughter, to rescue an inchworm that’s crossing a county road so it doesn’t get run over.

• Helping a teenage son fix up his first “used” vehicle, even if it requires a new transmission.

• Giving a son/daughter that perfect shot at a 5-point buck deer.

• Packing all the poles and other fishing gear through the brush along a creek while on a family outing.

• Spending the day unhooking kids’ fishing lines from snags along the water while on a family outing.

• Chasing a 1,000-pound market steer when it takes off across the fairgrounds during the county fair.

• Wiping tears from a daughter’s eyes after a market steer steps all over her toes or after she sells her market lamb.

• Taking time to help a son/daughter use a stick to push autumn leaves down the water in a creek.

• Joining the kids in sledding down a feedlot hill after the cows have been fed on a winter morning.

• Sharing stories about life when he was a kid.

• Taking time from checking cows on summer pasture to help kids pick tiny wild strawberries.

• Helping kids break 600-pound steers to lead.

• Taking time to teach older kids how to vaccinate and brand calves.

• Rescuing his wife when she has a flat tire on her way home and discovers the spare is also flat.

• Moving to another part of the haystack to avoid bothering a nest of kittens that a mama cat has hidden there, in hopes that the cat will take a hint and move the kittens.

• Barbecuing T-bone steaks for dinner using his special spices.

• Doing all of his ranch chores, even when he has a cold or the flu.

• Keeping his fingers crossed as he watches a son ride a bull at a rodeo.

• Attending all of the kids’ extracurricular activities, including sports, dance and music recitals, plays, and 4-H and FFA events.

• Giving kids rides on a tractor while working in the field.

• Going out to the yard at midnight to rescue a doll left there by a little daughter who is crying because she just realized it is missing.

• Hiding Easter eggs in the barn loft on an early, snowy April morning.

• Getting the ladder to put a tiny bird back in a nest built high up in a calving shed.

• Giving kids the last pieces of Best Ever Chocolate Cake, even if it was made especially for Father’s Day.

• Adjusting the stirrups of a saddle so a short kid can ride along to check cows.

• Giving up his favorite show so kids can watch cartoons.

• Getting out the blender to make milkshakes, a special treat made up by Dad and the kids.

Best wishes for a special Father’s Day.

Copyright Diane Prather, 2011.

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