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Challenge yourself to plan ahead

BRO Vector/Getty Images illustration of farmer thinking of food, animals and home
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Sitting in my comfortable chair, I watch as the snow continues to accumulate. I hear the rumbling of the snowplow as the township truck passes by another time.

This is one of those times that I don’t regret not having decked out in several layers of clothing to head out to the barn in below-freezing temperatures. Thawing pipes and carrying buckets of water to the calves was never a favorite chore.

You could be sure that some of that water would splash out onto my pants. It didn’t matter how many layers I had on; my legs would always get cold.  

Chores always took longer in winter. After the calves were fed, the pipes had to be drained, and all the doors were closed tight before heading back to the house.

I vividly recall one January day when it had seemed to be below zero for days. I got out of my heavy coat, boots and gloves, but I was still decked out in several layers of clothing when the phone rang. A friend from Southern California was on the line. I asked about her weather. Her response was that it was 60 degrees and sunny as she looked out over the Pacific Ocean. I thought, “Oh, how nice that would be.”

I love the change of seasons, and I find pleasure in each one. I find that winter can be beautiful, if I don’t have to drive on icy and snowy roads.

This is a time for projects that were pushed aside when there were things to do outside.

January is a time to plan for a new growing season. Seed companies send out their catalogs right after Christmas, so we can start preparing for spring. Planning for the next growing season helps dispel the winter blues.

I am sure there are women out there who fill their days creating quilt tops for a future quilt. My knitting needles will be working on hats and mittens for charity during these cold days.

This is the beginning of meeting season, too. It may be an annual meeting for an agricultural organization, or an update from a machinery dealer or supply company. Now is the time to update your pesticide licenses and to learn about the most recent crop research.

COVID-19 created a need for presentations that didn’t require in-person meetings. The development of webinars allows us to learn new information and skills from our phone, tablet or computer. If you would like to learn more about a topic, simply search for that topic online and you will find reports, presentations and videos that help.

As our communities open up, there will be more opportunities for in-person meetings. It is good to meet face to face with friends and colleagues in the industry. So, plan to find time to attend a meeting soon.

Also, take time to reflect on what you want to accomplish when the winter weather passes.

Gregg writes from western Pennsylvania. She is the Pennsylvania 2019 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture and is a past president of American Agri-Women.

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