Allison Boon will never forget her last day as a dairy farmer’s daughter.
Her family sat on the truck tailgate and watched trailer loads of cattle leave their farm yard in a 1986 buy out. Her dad was a third generation dairy farmer and she vividly recalls the somber feeling of watching a great dairyman say goodbye to his herd.
Allison’s parents moved into crop farming and raising beef cattle. She grew up alongside peas, corn, seed, cucumber, squash, berries and a handful of other crops. Countless summer evenings were spent checking irrigation with her dad. When she was finally old enough to reach the pedals, he taught her to drive the tractor with a load of irrigation pipes in tow.
“Some of my very best memories of my life, involve those sweet days on the family farm,” Allison recalls. “I know it must have been hard at times but looking back, I really only remember the good times and what a blessed life farm life can be.”
One of her favourite memories will always be a high school summer night when her entire family and a local crew pitched in to get the hay baled and picked up before the coming rain. When they finished at 11:00pm, her mom jumped into the kitchen to make barbecue hamburgers and all the fixings for the crew.
A couple years later she married a member of that evening crew and became a crew-feeding dairy farmer’s wife herself.
“When Jeff and I got married, they would joke that I knew exactly what I was getting into with this whole ‘farming life’. I certainly wasn’t going in blind!”
Allison’s current role in the dairy operation is employee and payroll management. She also stepped into her Mom’s shoes in the kitchen and takes turns with her sister-in-law to make homemade meals during harvest season. She is also farm-mom to boys Ryan (12) and Jacob (7).
Even as the roles are reversed and Allison is now the adult feeling the stress of the industry, fretting over the roller coaster of milk prices, weather, and finding reliable help, she wouldn’t trade the lifestyle for their boys for anything. She loves watching their work ethic develop through chores and raising 4H heifers. She also values the quality time and conversation the boys get to spend with Jeff. The boys can almost always find their dad somewhere on the farming property and join in. Most tractors on the farm have a buddy-seat installed for this very purpose. “The boys get a front row view of planting, growing, and harvesting crops that will feed our cattle, who will produce milk that will go on to help feed our local community and the world! We. Are. Blessed. And thankfully they have come to know that, too.”
“I’m SO proud to be my dairy farmers wife. He works so hard to provide for his family and produce the best product for our company. It’s really pretty special that all the members of our family can contribute something to the whole process, big or small. We all chip in,” she says. “There’s just nothing like life on the farm- even when you’re chasing a bunch of cattle who escaped through a fence in the middle of the night. It’s just goes with the territory. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. Good days, bad days and I feel so thankful we get to raise our boys up in this sometimes crazy life called dairy farming.”
Allison, you sound like you have great role models and partnerships on the farm, where your family have all worked so hard for the success of your farming enterprise. It must be so satisfying to now see the next generation experience and build on these values.