My New Country Hen Family
If someone had told me when I was young that one day I would work on an honest to goodness farm, I would have laughed out loud. Most kids dream of growing up to have sophisticated and spectacular careers that would allow them to wear respected uniforms, attractive clothing and spectacular outfits like Astronauts, Professional Athletes, Rock Stars, and Actors with careers that would bring fame and fortune. Some dream of noble and heroic careers as Firefighters, Doctors, Police Officers, Soldiers and Leaders of their communities that would bring respect and glory in the public eye.
The kids that do grow up to work in those “dream” fields usually learn that attaining, maintaining and being successful at such careers is a lot harder than they’d thought it would be and the cool outfits often weigh on them in more ways and much more heavily than they’d expected. I didn’t know many kids (if any at all) who’d ever dreamed of growing up to work on a farm.
I had a lot of misconceptions about farms in my youth and could not have imagined how people could be happy toiling away in flannel shirts, bib overalls or dungarees and rubber boots. (Does anyone think this is stylish work attire?) There could be no fame and fortune, no glamour, glory or public esteem. So what could possibly be appealing about working on a farm? Why would anyone want to do that kind of work? The answers surprised me, and I would never have believed it unless I’d experienced it myself. There is a lot that can be said about the many various rewards that come from taking pride in what you do. Not just taking pride, but genuinely feeling proud of honest work making the most exceptional quality available to as many people as possible.
Working on a farm is not a career so much as it is a lifestyle. Getting a job here was more like being adopted into a warm and welcoming family than it was like being hired to perform tasks. I still have moments when I think “This can’t be real, I must be dreaming.” The people who work on this farm are genuine, honest to a fault, wholesome, hard-working, practical, conscientious, polite, thoughtful, caring, down-to-Earth humans who exemplify the very definition of the word “humane” with every breath they take. These are intrepid and innovative people of integrity who work with what they have and find a way to make that do whatever needs to be done.
The environment is calm, soothing and serene as you listen to the chickens chirring their contentment like a lullaby accompanied by the thrumming chug-chug-chugging sounds of the mill making their favorite food. Everyone works together as a team, each offering their own expertise and their individual strengths, each supporting and being supported by the others and keenly aware of how it all meshes together. We do not get to wear the really cool outfits, as a matter of fact our busiest workers wear nothing at all (except feathers) but the appeal for me of working on this farm cannot be measured in monetary gain, in fame or fortune or public esteem. It cannot be defined in words, it can only be experienced. I truly wish that everyone could experience the pride and contentment that is to be found working with such great co-workers whether they wear flannel or feathers in an environment that is the closest thing to what I consider to be Utopia anyone can hope to find.