Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg was rather scathing about farmers and farming a few years ago. This video clip surfaced recently as he ramped up his presidential campaign.
A sheep farmer from northern Texas has replied.
Dear Mr Bloomberg,
I am not an anybody ... a middle of the country farm girl with no college education ... but your comments about farming not taking as much “gray matter” as what you do made me want to address this serious misconception you and many in our society seem to have.
Farming is not simply planting a seed or feeding an animal and poof, you’re done.
It takes record keeping. I have spreadsheet after spreadsheet of expenses, profits, losses. We track weights of lambs and pounds of lambs weaned per ewe.
It takes math. Measuring feed, milk replacer, medications. A mis-measurement anywhere can be devastating.
It takes observation. Spotting an animal that’s acting “off” before it’s so sick it may not live.
It takes planning ... when to plant, when to breed, when weather's coming in and hay will need to be put out.
It takes long days in the cold and the heat. We can’t “work from the house” when it’s Snowy out ... water troughs need to be busted open, animals need to be fed, to checked on. When it’s 100 degrees a broken fence won’t wait.
It takes flexibility. It never fails you’ll be headed out to a nice dinner and you’ll find a sick ewe or a ewe in labor. Your night will be spent in the barn ... sometimes in 20 degree weather, helping that ewe.
It takes a huge heart. Our home has heard the rat a tat tat of bottle lambs running thru the house. The sound is music to my ears, after seeing a newborn rejected or hurt to bouncing and happy.
It takes mental toughness ... emergencies happen and it takes a calm cool collected mindset to make it thru.
It takes tears. I’ve worked on a ewe in distress for an hour only to deliver a dead lamb ... and then to lose the ewe.
It takes love. I love with my whole heart farming and raising sheep. I love helping to feed this country and I love this job no matter what anyone who has never set foot on a farm has to say.
It takes being an eternal optimist. That the rain will fall, the sun will shine, that next years crop will be better.
Mr Bloomberg, your comments echo the general problem with many in this nation that have lost touch with their agricultural roots and what it means to this country. I invite you to spend a day at an actual working farm to see what our lives entail.
American Shepherdess & Patriot
Well said, ma'am! Next time my wife and I buy lamb (which we both enjoy), we'll be sure to remember your BC Sheep Company, and give you a call.