Cherish the moments when your kids are young, one farmer said
By Diego Flammini
With Father’s Day approaching on Sunday, Farms.com asked farm dads in Ontario to share their thoughts about being a farm dad or growing up with one.
Sid Atkinson (SA) is a dairy producer from Northumberland County. He has two sons, Mark, 36, and David, 32.
Doug Wilson (DW) is a cash crop producer from Hamilton-Wentworth. His daughter Carolyn is 27 years old.
Farms.com: In your opinion, what is the best part about being a farm dad?
SA: The best thing is that my sons are in the business. It gives me the satisfaction that knowing all of my work over the years is going to the betterment of the family.
DW: It’s nice to see your kids grow up in the country surrounded by nature and green grass. It’s something not a lot of kids in urban areas get to experience.
Farms.com: Do you have any special memories of when the kids were younger and spending time with you on the farm?
SA: A memorable moment is when the boys were younger, and my dad was coming over to help them do chores. I told my dad that the boys needed to be doing these chores themselves if they were going to grow up to be good men. My dad told me he understood, and left the barn with tears in his eyes. You never forget something like that.
DW: It was always a treat when she’d come visit me in the field for lunch or supper. Seeing her always broke up the day and made me refocus on what’s important if the day wasn’t going well.
Farms.com: What was it like growing up with a farm dad?
SA: He was a man of many sayings. One of them was “If you give a calf enough rope, it’ll surely hang itself.” That saying can mean so many things to so many people. It’s an observation he had, and I learned as I got older that it rings true in some instances.
DW: We would fix machinery together. When I was younger it was my job to hand him the tools, and then as I got older I started to do repairs myself as he supervised.
Farms.com: What advice do you have for a new dad?
SA: Cherish the time when they are small because it flies by so fast.
DW: Spend all the time you can with them because they grow up faster than you think.