We had been on our farm but two years and there was little to report as profit. The book work was long and full of tiny details and big expenses. Each category of expense had many breakdowns with in it. Barn supply, milkroom supply, medical expenses, bedding, feed for cows, calves (what kind of feed, forage or grain), crop expenses, machinery repair, which machine, which store… on and on…
The tax report was completed and ready to be signed. There were titles listed next to Dick and I. Dick was Farmer/ Owner, I was Housewife.
Housewife! I flipped out! Did my house look like I spent my days cleaning and maintaining it? Unfortunately not!
I spent most all my time out doing milking, barn chores, fencing, young stock care. I was covered with poop. Of course the books for finances as well as animal records and health had been maintained by me. The milk room was polished and clean but my home, sadly no. I was insulted!
My mom and dad had always worked together in several businesses. They had grocery stores and delis, and together they fixed up many houses and then sold them. My dad and mom regarded each other as partners. Dick and I viewed each other as partners, and I am fortunate to have had a husband that viewed me as a valuable part of everything that went on. But he certainly didn’t think I was a Housewife!
Our loan officer showed up soon after to review our financial records and discuss how we could do better and achieve more profit. He also got to hear my speech promising to tell the good woman in charge of the tax department my thoughts.
A few weeks later he returned with the news that they with raised eyebrows, they had never heard of such a complaint but would revise my title next year.
Next spring, our poor house did not look any better, the animals looked good and well cared for, the fields responding to the lime and manure applied yielded had given a bountiful harvest. The kitchen did give us good food, I liked to cook but Dick missed my best days before we were married and had the farm. Our Jerseys were registered and that took lots of attention and careful recording. I worked to be more consistent in my financial records. Still barely a profit.
The tax forms were completed and again Dick was Farmer / Owner, I was now a “Farm Wife”. I guess it is true, when you have a farm you are married to it.
But why wasn’t Dick called a “Farm Husband”?