For many, Labor Day means a day off work or one last barbecue before the summer is over. But on the farm, even on holidays, there is always work that needs to be done. Actually, Labor Day celebrates hard work. It is “a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” according to the United States Department of Labor. Usually, Labor Day is just another work day for the American farmer.
Cows have to be milked every day, twice a day. Animals have to be fed and cared for. With summer coming to an end, there is the excitement of harvest around the corner, so equipment has to be repaired and made ready to go. However at Fagan Family Farm, like many other family farms, we live it every day because we love what we do. Agriculture is more than a job, it is in our genes. There is a love for the land and the hard work that comes with it. We take the time to enjoy holidays as well, but the milking and barn chores have to be done first and we usually have to stay close to home.
One of the best advantages of the family farm is working together. It seems that there is nothing better than siblings working together. But then again…nothing’s better than a father and son working together, except maybe…a father and daughter working together. It seems that there is nothing better than a husband and wife working together. But then again….nothing’s better than children working and learning alongside parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Maybe the best is when we’re all working together. Farming is a multi-generational affair that brings families closer together, and this work is a good reason to celebrate Labor Day.
Ten years ago, on Labor Day, Matt’s Dad, Dave Fagan, went home with the Lord after battling cancer. We never dreamed that he would be taken from us so soon. We miss his old pick-up truck coming down the lane. We miss him working alongside us on the farm. We miss the kids dumping corn in his hat. We miss his words of wisdom. We miss his big hugs and wet kisses, but we are thankful for the time we did have and those memories of working together.
On this Labor Day, I encourage you to spend time with your family, and no matter where you live or what you do for a living, find time for your family to work together. Children can learn so much working alongside parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It creates a lasting bond and a lifetime of memories.
Happy Labor Day!