Winter on a Rice Farm

My Winter Days – Part 1

It’s winter and there aren’t any crops in the field. What does a row crop farmer do all winter? Go hunting? Stay home with family? Travel to warmer destinations? Well all those sound great –but unfortunately there is a huge amount of work to do in the winter months to prepare for spring!

We did take some time off during the Christmas and New Year holidays to enjoy family and rest, relax and restore. Personally I spend time reflecting on the past year and reading and writing hopes and dreams for the new year during this time off. Who doesn’t love a new planner to organize as well?? But as of January 2 it is full time on the job. I guess you could say its just a 40 hour week this time of year! I try to arrive at the office around 7:30 – 8:00 a.m. and make myself leave by no later than 5:00p.m. I do work quite a bit on Saturdays so that ruins my 40 hour week! The office is just much less hectic and I am able to get so much more done. On week days, arriving a little later allows me some time at home in the mornings to just “do my thing” and then extra time at night to READ! Reading is something I love to do and I have a goal to read 24 books in 2019!

Sunrise over harvested rice

Winter does feel a little lazy and I LOVE standard time. I think we should do away with daylight savings time and just go with the sun!! Of course I suppose that’s what farmers do anyway so it is no wonder I might feel this way. I am usually up by 5:00 a.m. and have a morning routine I try to keep year round. Harvest time is more difficult but I excel at it in winter! Now that we have a new puppy it does involve a little extra time to take care of Blitz but he is just the cutest so I don’t mind! The darkness and the peacefulness of the morning is something I thrive upon to make a fresh start to the day.

Energize Pre-workout (aka Unicorn Juice) and my Devotional books

I typically drink my favorite pre-workout (Beachbody Energize) while I read a devotional. I just finished 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs and I highly recommend it. Then I review my day in my planner and write down my intentions for the day. These may be tasks to accomplish, people I need to contact, prayers I want to remember and so forth. I also make a list of 5 things I am grateful for from the previous day. This keeps me paying attention during the day so I look for the small blessings in life that make it wonderful. For example, the sunrise pictured above. I feel so fortunate to be able to sit in my driveway each morning and watch as the glorious sun rises to start our day. Next, I exercise for 30-40 minutes. Exercise is an important part of my day and life. It keeps me feeling strong and healthy and gives me energy. I can certainly tell when I am am not consistent. Then I hit the shower and head to the office -my commute is tough – 3 minutes tops!

The winter involves lots of office time and meetings. It is even called the “meeting season” for farmers. I have already been to one this week, Arkansas Rice, and will be heading to my winter peer group meeting tomorrow. I can’t wait to hear about each operation’s triumphs and struggles and run a few ideas by them as well. I will be back to share more of my winter days with you. Balance sheets and marketing plans, choosing seed to plant and adjusting our fertilizer recommendations to our fields and so much more to get ready for another crop. Plus a trip to Japan to visit our soybean buyers, but that isn’t for a few weeks. In the meantime, I would love to hear about your morning routine and you MUST comment about your favorites books for me to read in 2019. I have a short list but need some great ones to keep me motivated. For fun, I enjoy reading mystery and suspense novels and I am a sucker for a good motivational book! I hope to hear from you.