Why Being a Farmer is About More Than Farming
The life of a farmer is about more than farming. Their farm isn't just a business, it's their home. Their 'herd' isn't just their livelihood, it's their family. Just ask the owners of Grassy Cow Dairy in Remsen who just lost a member of that family.
Angela and Leon Atwell recently lost one of their 'herd.' Her name was Hewey and she'd been at the Grassy Cow Dairy for 10 years. "She had no special pedigree, no prize ribbons, no outstanding bovine characteristics," Angela shared on Facebook. "She loved to be near me, for me to pet her, brush her, for me to feed her. Hewey was always there, every time I turned around. I’d be bending over picking up a milk pail for our calves and there she was, sniffing the back of my neck. If I was looking for her, I could call her name and her head would rise above all of the rest of the animals, ears perked up, as if to say, 'Yes, you called, here I am.' If I was sad, she made me smile, and she will be missed."
Hewey was buried on a hill that overlooks the place she called home for a decade. For her love of apples, an apple tree will be planted in the Spring next to her. "We will go pick apples and remember all of the special moments she gave us," says Angela. "This is what farming is all about. We honor our animals, we respect them, and we appreciate them. Farming is the ultimate labor of love."
If you ever make a trip to Grassy Cow Dairy Farm, where they have delicious cheese curd, you'll see a picture of Hewey mounted on the wall the our farmhouse. "Not everyone understands how deep our feelings are for our animals and our land. If people really understood, maybe more would reach for that locally produced gallon of milk, cheese, or ice cream."