Baxter Black: Family Duties

October 11, 2016 10:55 AM

Most family farms and ranches are a team effort. I live around them, help them with their cows every now and then. I see them at the ag meetings, at the school sporting event, and at church.

The bigger the family, the less help they need from outside. They’re pretty self-supporting, as far as labor goes, this bunch. Their responsibilities are pretty clear from feeding the cows to checking the dog water.

The dad is usually the boss. The mom is the head adviser, pie baker, child raiser, chore divider, school coordinator, birthday rememberer, 10 p.m. heifer checker, check writer, and wound examiner.

But when they're amongst other livestock peers he usually introduces her this way:

This is my wife. She does the books I do the important stuff
Like mend the fence and check the cows  
She makes sure the income's enough
To cover the cost of farmin'  

She's tight as a new hat band
I need to buy a new baler  
She figures out if we can

I spend all day on the tractor  
She's in the office all day
Just talkin' with the SCS  
Or checkin' the price of hay

Or dealin' with the accountants
And keepin' the banker straight
I might be cleanin' a ditch out
Or hangin' a rusty gate

She fills out all the blasted forms
The government makes us keep
She reads those regulations till
fightin' em in her sleep

Me, I go to sleep a'dreamin'
Of bulls and barns and sales
She's dreamin' the inventory
Or estimatin' bales

She finds time to bake a pie  
Between her business deals
And I keep busy all the time
Just greasin' squeaky wheels

I told my wife that we should think
'Bout gettin' a hired man
Runnin' a farm ain't easy
Good managers need a plan

She agreed that it weren't easy
To manage and keep abreast
"But, why," she asked, "Get a hired man?
I've already got the best."

Back to news




Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer