Lessons from the Farm: Feed the Calf

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I’m continuing my Lessons from the Farm series today. If you’d like to get these delivered to your inbox, click here. If you’d like to read some of this year’s posts, click here and progress forward.

Today’s lesson was inspired by a Facebook post from my Uncle Bill.

Each year #65 will give birth and clean her calf, and then abandon it.
First year she had twins, so I kept her. Each year after her calves are the best in the herd.

But for one week, morning and night, I have to teach her calf to nurse and tie her back leg so she won’t kick me and the calf. I get slapped in the face with a urine soaked tail, some days dirt/ manure blows all over me and eventually she becomes the most protective mother in the herd. Charging me if I even get 50 yards near her calf.

Until then, we eat in the chute.

Have you ever considered that not every calf who is born either knows how to feed, or the mother lets it feed? So, for a rancher, the miracle of birth is followed by waiting to see if the calf is “going to take”. This takes patience on behalf of the rancher, because a new mother is rather protective of their baby.

The leadership principle here is even the best people in an organization occasionally need a little reminder of why they are serving.

There is a certain monotony we have all felt in our work. While some of us thrive on patterns and routine, even our thriving suffers setbacks from time to time.

As you lead, never forget the need to continually check in with those you are leading. Asking the 3rd question is not a license to fully surrender interest. Check in with those around you. Ask how they’re doing. Find ways to encourage them.

Even the best followers need to be encouraged, or at least reminded of why they love what they do. For #65, it means letting her baby feed. For others, it will be completely different. A great leader learns to encourage, so encourage someone today.

One thought on “Lessons from the Farm: Feed the Calf”

  1. Paul seems to be a good example of this principle. We read his letters & how he would encourage the churches that he had influence & leadership over. He would also travel back around to see them face to face, challenging & encouraging them. It struck me a few years ago that Paul would repeat ideas. The people weren’t dumb, like all of us we can settle into routines that can sometime be unhealthy or maybe just get a bit stagnate. I remember the last conference I went to, I thought “why don’t I do this more often?”. Over all it wasn’t anything cutting edge or new, it just reminded me of important aspects of ministry I had drifted from. I really love how you dial into these things Wes, though I hope I don’t have to get slapped in the face by a urine soaked tail.

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