The Ag Life…Blessed and Stressed

Stress

My life is deeply embedded in agriculture.  From my childhood experiences on a tobacco farm to my current position as a slaughterhouse owner, I realize how blessed I am to work alongside my family to produce safe and healthy food for North Carolina.

While I appreciate the blessings of this agricultural life, some days I wonder if it’s all worthwhile.  The stress of this industry can be overwhelming and finding a true friend can be harder than seems.  You see, while farmers are tirelessly working to provide food for your family, they also are responsible for feeding their own.  There was a time when extreme weather conditions were the greatest challenge to a farmer’s livelihood.  Now, however, internal commodity arguments, government regulations, misinformed consumers, and aggressive social media campaigns make the agricultural life downright stressful.  We are fighting on so many fronts to meet consumer demands that many times our own families – and our sanity – suffer.

I realize how blessed I am to get to do what I love; however, lately I have been overwhelmed by the stress of this ag life.  Like the world’s wildest roller coaster, my family’s farming journey has been full of ups and downs.  Just went I think we have reached the end of the ride, the momentum from the last plunge pushes us forward into a new high that we never saw coming.  While my instinct is to close my eyes and hold on tight, God is teaching me to embrace these highs and lows with full trust in the one who laid the track.  I am still a work in progress, but I am learning how to throw my hands up and enjoy the ride!

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