The month of September was a hard month. Hard because we were trying to start harvest, but Mother Nature had other ideas. While it was suppose to be fall in Alberta, you wouldn’t know it. Areas of the Province had upwards 3 feet of snow! On our farm we had upwards of over a foot spread out over 5-6 different snow events. Here is a post I wrote on Facebook that ended up with over 225,000 views that I’d like to share here.

*Please don’t read this as a complaint; this isn’t meant to be a complaint.*

With the recent snows in Alberta the past two weeks, there’s a lot of farmers on edge. So many farmers haven’t even turned a wheel in their fields, or if they have, they are either drying their grain, or running fans to help their grain dry. All this costs extra. And this is after a very dry summer that left many farmers with less then exceptional yields on their crops.

Farmers with grazing animals aren’t fairing well either. Dry pastures all summer, poor hay yields, and now with the snow, they are having to dip into their already poor (or expensive) hay supplies early to feed their animals. Some fortune ones still have pasture under the snow, but the cattle think it’s time to come home since it’s snowed, so cows and calves are crawling through fences. While others are trying to find a way to bring their cows home but the roads and yards are a muddy mess or there’s crops still in the field where they usually bring them home by or through.

So what am I asking? I’m asking for empathy and patience.

If you see cows out on your drive, please slow down and be gracious. If you know who the cattle belong to, approach them with kindness, not with annoyance because you think they are being negligent.

Once the combines and trucks are able to start up again and you see them moving, please be courteous. Give them the right-away. Wave.

If you know of a farmer who is stressed out or struggling, approach them with empathy. Ask if there’s anything you can help with. Many farmers have a lot of pride and won’t accept help even when asked. Maybe drop a coffee off to them when you do see them out in the field, or invite them over for coffee if you know they aren’t busy now with the snow. Offer something, even if you think it’s insignificant, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

All I’m asking for is that you read this & offer farmers you know empathy even if they aren’t dealing with Mother Nature’s hard blows. Harvest is a stressful time for all without the complications from the weather.