HOWES CAVE, NY — Every farmer knows that while life on a family farm includes routines, there is nothing routine about the life of a farmer. Each day and each experience is different, unique and memorable. Many farmers experience and recognize this phenomenon but few are able to put the feeling to words. Richard Smith decided to write a book based on his experience as a farmer entitled “Something New Every Day: A farm family that: dreamed; worked; laughed; cried; and prayed together”. This book gives a much deeper meaning to what farming really is and it shows that as a family there isn’t a better way to bond than working together on a farm. It tells the story of a dairy farmer and his family and the experiences, memories and everything else that comes from the hard work and perseverance of working together on a farm.
Coming from a long line of farmers, Smith is familiar with the industry. He got his first taste of the farm life at a young age. Growing up, Smith’s father ran a dairy farm for another gentleman, which only gave Richard more of a desire to get into the dairy farming industry. Smith attended SUNY Cobleskill where he obtained a degree in Agricultural Engineering and shortly after accepted a job with the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA). The FmHA provides financing and insuring loans for housing and other farming needs to rural farming families. Smith later obtained his masters degree from Penn State. In 2004, Smith began working for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Saratoga County where he stayed for 10 years as a Dairy and Farm Management Resource Educator. In this time, he was able to work at his own farm while also seeing how other farms operate.
Smith attributes much of his success both in farming and life to his wife Deborah who has always been there to lend a hand and a heart, if not on the farm then in the home. Richard and Deborah have been married for over 47 years. Smith also talks of the enormous help his children were on the farm. In fact his son Steven still runs a farm nearby which Richard helps at whenever needed.
The book also shows the importance of education in dairy farming. Not necessarily in the traditional sense of schooling, but also in the value of respecting other farmers’ advice who may have been in the same place before. As Smith puts it, “It is valuable to have good mentors, good friends and neighbors are priceless.” Without friendly neighbors and good advice many farmers would fail before they could get their farms up and running. “You need friends and guidance,” says Smith. Much of Smith’s wealth of knowledge comes from just that, friends, neighbors and likeminded farmers willing to help when needed.
As every farmer knows life on a farm isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, much of it is long hard days working and facing every setback known to man. However, most farmers are also hardworking and equipped with an immense sense of determination and perseverance that allows them to overcome most hardships. “Once you start putting barriers up to progress, that’s where you fail,” says Smith.
“Something New Every Day” allows readers from all walks of life to get an inside view on what it really means to be a dairy farmer — the good, the bad and everything in between.
For more information or to purchase the book, check the Internet where the book is available from a variety of bookstores, or you can visit Barnes and Noble to get your copy.