Planting season is to me, as banquet season is to a chef

The soil temperature is 50 degrees in central Nebraska today. That’s an important number to me. It means that soon enough, it’ll be the magic 55 and I’ll be a “planting season widow.”

My husband is an agronomist at a research center, so even though he only has 300 acres, he works farmer hours while putting in hundreds of 20-foot test plots.

Here's my husband planting one of their "early planting date" demos a few weeks ago.

Here my husband is putting in an “early planting date” demo a few weeks ago. Planting will be in full swing next week.

That “widow” reference is somewhat of a joke that my sister and I bat around (she and her husband are dairy producers, so she also adds “haylage season widow” to that list).

Of course, I love agriculture and the fact that we both have careers in this industry, but sometimes I throw a little pity party. It gets hard taking care of four little kiddos when they ask, “Why is daddy not home again tonight?” We run meals to the field, we try to keep things in order at home and we look forward to eating supper and saying bedtime prayers together again in June. (Until he’s busy spraying or giving farmer tours or firing up the combine, that is.)

To all of you who do more ranching than farming, I’m sure you don’t want to hear about lack of sleep or physical exhaustion. Many of you have just come through or are wrapping up calving, surely one of the most tiring seasons on a cattle operation — and getting ready for AI or moving out to grass.

We hear it all the time: production agriculture is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for those who want an 8-to-5 job.

But recently I saw a cousin post on Facebook, “It’s here!! April 15th! Happy Tax Day!! I am so excited to be able to eat supper and hang out with my husband again!” You guessed it…her significant other is an accountant.

What a good reminder: many people are passionate about their work, and many people have to put in long hours to make it all work.

When it comes to food production, those of us at the start of the chain know the sacrifices it takes to do what we love. But do you ever think about those who are equally passionate about bringing that great food to the table?

Almost a year ago, we brought you our “Day in the Life” blog series and I thought this might be a great time to remind you that chefs don’t get a typical weekend either, that meat cutters must get to work long before those who get up early, and that if a restaurant runs out of ice cream, you can bet a distributor somewhere has dropped everything to help.

And no matter the season, we’re all in this together.

May your bottom line be filled with black ink (and may you get some rest!),


 Check out those links above, or read the entire series from the start here:

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