Marie is joining us for a long stay (we hope) serving in the capacity as Social Media Intern.
My name is Marie Ruther and I live on a small dairy farm in Delanson, NY located in Schenectady County. We milk 66 cows in a tie stall and farm about 300 acres. I currently work at the home farm as the herd and calf manager. In addition, I just received my associate’s degree in Animal Science: Dairy from SUNY Morrisville and plan on going back in the fall to obtain my bachelors in Agricultural Business.
Farming is my life and I do not know where I would be without it. To this day, I still find it funny that in my younger years I hated cows. I thought farming was dumb and pointless and I hated the fact that my parents made me do so much work. I often thought, I wasn’t their slave, I was their daughter. I did not understand their passion for agriculture. I figured I had a life and the farming life gave me no time to do anything. I wanted to hang out with my friends and be able to watch my favorite TV shows, but I guess what doesn’t kill us makes you stronger.
My theory of dairy farming changed in 2007, January 4th to be precise, our barn caught on fire and we lost everything but the cows. That was the scariest moment of my life. The flames were higher than our 70 foot silo and you hear animals screaming. It is something that you never forget and it changes you. I realized at that moment that my parents had to make a decision, either sell what was left of the farm or rebuild. I finally found my father and I said “Don’t sell the cows”, I was surprised it even came out of my mouth, it could have been my only chance to get out of farming, but I didn’t want that. The old saying, you don’t’ know how much you will miss something until it’s gone, hit me. Everything I ever knew was gone and I couldn’t do anything about it.
After the fire, I realized how important a farmer is. The whole community came together and helped with clean up and the rebuilding process. Individuals that had once complained about the farm were the ones that came and helped rebuild. The fire brought the community together and I realized that everyone else cared too. In May, the barn was finished and the cows finally came home. That was one of the happiest days of my life. It was a hard time for my family but we pushed through it and it made us stronger. This is why I have decided to pursue a career in the agricultural industry. Agriculture is just something I can’t live without.