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Farm work must be done… even during the holidays | By Deanna Schmidt – Schmidt Century Farm

West Bend, WI – Farmers don’t get holiday or vacation time off and especially don’t get paid for either. The animals and fields don’t care what day of the week it is or if it’s a holiday.

Holidays can be emotionally and physically draining for farmers who try to accommodate the day-to-day operation of a farm and the holiday commitments to family and friends.

Wintery day at Schmidt Century Farm

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A family farm blends home and work. How do you enjoy a holiday party, when you have your prize heifer at home that is close to calving? What if the water lines freeze, the gilt that is due to farrow has problems or the cow that bloats.

It’s an emotional and physical stressor on the best of days, much less at the busy holiday time of the year when you must also remember to bring your presents and potluck dish to mom’s house.

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Getting away from the farm is hard. For us, at Schmidt Century Farm, we often offer to host gatherings at the farm. It allows us to work until the last minute and if an emergency arises, we can just go back to work in the barn and maybe get a little help from family to get us back in the house a little faster. For family members not raised on a farm, this can take some getting used to.

Being a 5th generation farmer, our family is accustomed to our farm lifestyle, and we do our best to juggle animal schedules to accommodate our holiday events.

Steer in a field during winter at Schmidt Century Farm

We choose Mass times around animal feedings, show up late to party’s when calves are born; leave parties early to prepare for the next days early morning chores. Sometimes, we have to leave the party emergently when the neighbor calls us that the cows are out.

Farming is a 24/7 gig. Luckily, our family, friends and animals are all flexible.

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