Sunday, July 11, 2010

Single Dad For A Month

Single Dad For A Month

It’s been a while since I made the time to make a post. Hay season is upon us, changing water two and three times a day, the usual chores with cattle and horses and my wife is taking a class in Colorado for a month; which means I have our son to myself for some quality time.

Certainly, having both sets of grandparents nearby is a tremendous help for those nights when we are baling from 9 pm until 4:30 am, taking a two hour nap and continuing at 6:30 until noon. They are also very helpful on those nights that I have meetings to attend, County Farm Bureau, Department of Water Resources, Department of Fish and Game, etc.

Forget keeping regular sleeping hours without mom around. He is a trooper! Cutting in the swather, raking in the tractor and day baling in the tug are some of his favorite things to do, as long as he has his books to read when he gets bored. A fanatic about changing water as well; quite the hand helping move swing line, dragging hose and carrying clamps for his ol’ man, he gets upset on the mornings he sleeps in and I’ve changed the water before he rises. I’ve come to realize how important it is to start education children at an early age; their minds are sponges.

Already, at the age of three, he is setting timers on the pumps, starting the pumps, connecting and disconnecting handline, controlling the throttle for the balers in the tugs and starting the ATV to move it to the next riser. We are even sharing the chores: he waters the lawn and feeds the dogs, I water the dogs and mow the lawn; he hays the horses in the barn while I hay the bulls on the hill; I cook the meals while he sets the table and I wash the dishes while he dries. For entertainment, he gets to choose 1 hr of television per week, has an hour each day to play with his toys & ride his bike and we have 30 minutes of story time each night.

Reflecting on the past two weeks I cannot help but wonder if our country would still have a childhood obesity problem if more parents would simply take responsibility for teaching their children proper work ethic, eating and sleeping habits and shut off the computers and televisions. Stop blaming everything else for problems and look within yourself.

Despite our both missing mom, we are both looking forward to another two weeks of father son time. Taking advantage of the time and opportunities that we have to spend with our children should not be ignored nor passed by.


  1. Here, here Jeff!! That is why we chose to home school and have no "real" TV. The kids grow in so many ways when you take the time with them that they deserve!

  2. I could not agree more Jeff. Farm values are what we instill in our three children as well and if our country's families, urban or rural all took it upon themselves to do the same it would have a tremendous impact on the economy and our health. Hang in there as a single dad for another couple weeks.

  3. Love seeing my buddy there! Tell him hello and I'll see him on Skype.

  4. Wow, I'm super impressed by how much your son does at 3! Sounds like he is learning some important life lessons.

    And, as a side note, how adorable is he???

  5. Your son will have such wonderful memories to cherish when he gets older.

  6. Megan - Couldn't agree more on TV. It is over-rated and wastes valuable time.

    Katie - Thank you for the comments. Hopefully we get to see each other in August?

    Janice - Kyle sends a hello back to you! He wonders how the cotton is doing?

    Mica - He is VERY adorable, but I might be a little bias. lol Thanks for the comment.

    Nancy - Don't forget the memories we attain throguh raising :-) See you down the road.

  7. Jeff, it's my first time on your blog although I am hooked up with you on facebook, would love to interview you sometime for my radio show, Consumer Ag Connection. I love your post. I raised 3 kids on a farm and had some of our best memories there. So I can identify. send me an email at WHEN you get time,....probably when moms back. I appreciate it.
    Pam Fretwell

  8. Pam - I would love to speak with you anytime. I'll send you an email. Thank you for the opportunity.

  9. Jeff, what a lovely post. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life and for the work you do. #grateful


About Me

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Jeff Fowle is a fourth generation family farmer and rancher from Etna, California. He and his wife Erin and son Kyle raise registered Angus cattle, Percheron draft horses, warmbloods, alfalfa and alfalfa-grass hay. They also start and train horses for riding, jumping, and driving. Their family run ranch has incorporated many environmentally beneficial and water efficient technologies and management strategies. Jeff attended college at Colorado State University for two years and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for four and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. Following college, he worked in Washington State for a year as a herdsman for BB Cattle Company and then returned to Etna, California in 1995 to own and operate KK Bar Ranch and Siskiyou Percherons. The latter was started by his grandfather, Clarence Dudley, who devoted much of his time to the Percheron Horse Association of America, specifically to developing their youth education program.