••
April 09, 2014 | The Farm Is Our Home
The Circle of Life
I believe that ranch/farm kids know how to treat animals with compassion and respect, because they have a better understanding of life and death.
April 09, 2014 | The Farm Is Our Home
The Circle of Life
I believe that ranch/farm kids know how to treat animals with compassion and respect, because they have a better understanding of life and death.

Ranch kids are tough!  This is something that I've overheard, said and believe to be 100% true. 

My two little (not as little as they were, sadly) girls are growing up in our ranching lifestyle.  I keep trying to shelter them from the facts of life, to soften the blows of sickness and death, to explain away the unexplainable that is loss.  I find myself doing this because my gut reaction is to mourn for every little thing we loose, because I didn't grow up this way. 

Please don't misunderstand me, my two girls are very compassionate, loving, and are stricken by sadness when presented with loss. 

I can't explain it just right, but I'll try. 

When we have a sick calf, and we do our best to doctor it and make it better, the girls are right there with us, helping. They understand that animals, just like us, get sick. They understand that medicine is a  tool that we can use to help sickness go away.  They also understand that a lot of things we do for our animals are preventative measures to avoid sickness.

We take our dogs and cats to the vet to make sure they're healthy, but we also to take them to the vet when they get sick or hurt.  When I was a kid, a trip to the vet equaled death to me ... I'm sure our dogs feel the same way, with their tails tucked and the sad look on their faces when they see where we are!  My kids think the vet is an awesome place, full of wondrous tools and special people.

What I'm trying to say, I think, is that my girls are not scared of death.  I sometimes think they have a better understanding of it then I do.  I'm not saying they just accept it.  They cry and are sad, but they can focus back to the positive quicker then I can and redouble their efforts where attention is needed. 

I'm sure this seems an odd thing to write about.  This is where it gets personal and where I think maybe I can tie a few things together for you.  I lost my mother two years ago.  My girls were 5 and 2.  Death is devastating, it can bring us down into a darkness that is nearly impossible to climb out of.  My little ranch kids pulled me out of this darkness, because they remember all the happy and wonderful things about my mom and talk about her all the time.  Again, this didn't happen right away, they were devastated also and I was strong for them, but they have kept her memory alive in a way I never expected.

It's not just my kids, I'm quite sure of it!  Kids that grow up with animals somehow get a better grasp on life and death. 

I believe that ranch/farm kids know to treat animals with respect and compassion because they understand death.  I think that these hearty kids gain an understanding on life that is very hard to teach, it's hard to explain, it's almost impossible for me to convey ... but I'm trying!

It's just one little glimpse into our lives, but it's a picture that is very important to me.  I am so very thankful that my children don't fear death. It's a part of our lifestyle that I didn't even realize was so important until it was crucial.

(None of the animals in the pictures I've posted with this article are sick or died.)

Viewed 1213 times

Read More From Chyenne Smith
The Circle of Life

The Farm Is Our Home

The Circle of Life

I believe that ranch/farm kids know how to treat animals with compassion and respect, because they have a better understanding of life and death.

You Don't Have to be Born Into This Legacy

Questions From Consumers

You Don't Have to be Born Into This Legacy

We didn't inherit our ranch or our cows. We started out with a lease and a handful of cows and built our dreams, and we're still building.

More on What Farming Is
Accidental AgVocate

Questions From Consumers

Accidental AgVocate

As a FarmHer and RanchHer, it always amazing to me how I'm constantly "falling" into an Agvocate role....even at the doctors office!

What goes Round and Round, Towers above us, Hums a Tune and Can make it Rain?

Questions From Consumers

What goes Round and Round, Towers above us, Hums a Tune and Can make it Rain?

There are various types of irrigation systems and pivots.

Farming for Wildlife

Farm Snapshot

Farming for Wildlife

At Barrows Farm, we play close attention to the wildlife and natural activity of bugs, insects, wild turkeys, deer and more.

Breeding Choices

All In A Day's Work

Breeding Choices

We spent a great deal of time researching and thinking about how genetics can contribute into different aspects of the farm within our herd.

It's not always easy

All In A Day's Work

It's not always easy

Farming has it's ups and downs. Some days are easier than others. A calf gets hurt and consequently sick, learn more about the care that goes into even the youngest of the herd.

Calving Season Complete

Farm Snapshot

Calving Season Complete

All the calves for Spring Calving have arrived. As a small farm, each of these animals has a spot within the future of our farm.

Cows Out!

All In A Day's Work

Cows Out!

When those barn doors open and the cows notice that the barn yard gate, shut to them all winter long, is swung wide open, It doesn’t take long; they’re off like yearlings sprung for the first time.

Friday Night Lights

All In A Day's Work

Friday Night Lights

Our Friday night didn't consist of dancing until dawn or headed to the local high school sports game. Instead our night consisted of flashlights, headlights and calf hide and seek.

I'd like to discuss a project or media request
I have a question for a farmer

Prospective Contributors

Contributing to a publication that is built by people involved in agriculture can improve your visibility, and give consumers a central resource to see what farming is. Think of it as a no-dues promotional cooperative.

Media Inquiries

There's an ever-expanding collection of compelling stories about agriculture. Put our knowledge and storytelling ability to use, and excite consumers about where food comes from.

Questions About Agriculture

Lay it on us: what are you curious about? If we don't have an answer right away, we'll find somebody who does, and maybe feature the answer in our Ask A Farmer series.

Contributor Log-In   |   Sign-Up
  Article Sections