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Press Release of the Day: Oregon Dairy Wives and Getting Kicked in the Nuts

Actual press release from the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association posted without comment.

OREGON DAIRY FARMERS CONVENTION FOCUSES ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF DAIRY WIVES

Oregon Dairy Farmers Association Convention Focus on Issues Including Dairy Wives who bring so much to their Dairy Farm Operations 

The Oregon Dairy Farmers Association hosted a two day convention at the Salem Convention Center on February 20-21

A panel of well-informed women spoke candidly about the joys and struggles of dairy farming during a convention workshop Monday afternoon.

Attendees heard four farm wives share their experiences of working in the dairy industry. It can be trying when frictions in the barns hit home, they said.

"It's super hard to see my son get yelled at by his dad," said Susan Pierson, a fourth-generation farmer. As both mother and wife, she is often a sounding board when things get overheated. "I have to do a lot of listening and not a lot of talking. But later I might say something to my husband like, 'You know, you were a little hard on him..."

"I feel like I'm in the middle a lot," said Julie Lourenzo, who shares the workload with her husband and other family members. When conflict arises, "I talk to both sides and try to work it out."

"I brought a husband into the job," said panel moderator Bobbi Frost, who is familiar with that uncomfortable space between the spouse you love and the parents who raised you. The audience responded to a frank discussion about whether the panelists encouraged their children to pursue farming.

Sarah Rocha, mother of four boys, said she chose to allow her children to find their path. "The more you push, the more they push back," she said.

Rocha runs the calf operation on a farm with 600-650 cows and 150 goats.

"I pushed my sons away from the dairy," said Pierson, an organic farmer for 12 years. But as it was with other panelists, some children decide to join the family business after a time. Of one son she said, "All of a sudden he came to us and said he wanted to come back."

In response to a question about when how to draw the line between work and family time, Lourenzo said she knows she has reached her limit when she begins to voice complaints. "If you are going to complain, it's a sign you are doing too much," she said.

A highlight of the breakout session was when moderator Frost, who brought along her 11-month-old daughter, Max, to the convention, said she "felt like Superman" on a day when she completed her work while toting an infant around the farm.

Then she provided the quote of the afternoon with an observation about childbirth.

"One day my husband said to me that getting hit in the nuts is worse than having a baby. " How so, she wondered?

"You want another baby, right?" he said. "But you don't hear me saying I want someone to hit me in the nuts again."

The Oregon Dairy Farmers Association is located in Salem. The Association has been proudly serving Oregon's Dairy farmers since 1892.