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                         4 BC HOLSTEIN NEWS ❆ CHRISTMAS 2020 Christmas Greetings
Wishing everyone in
our dairy community a
   wonderful Christmas with peace, plenty and joy!
 2020 has been, So strange a year,
But let’s be grateful, And share our good cheer!
(from the BCHN Team)
     TIars Cheema
will admit that on rare occasion, I experience stress dreams – I think most people know of what I speak. Usually I’m wandering the campus unable to find my
final exam room and time’s running out! Then there is the ultimate shocker that rattles me awake in a cold sweat with heart pounding through my chest – the cows are out!!! Charging out the driveway, rotovating Mom’s garden, munching the roses, plunging great foot holes in thesoftgreenlawn,beforesplittingupinfractiousmobs- scattering in every direction the road takes them! Sounds familiar to most farmers I would bet!
That’s what 2020 has felt like at times – outta control cows marauding in every direction – too many variables, too many opinions, so much uncertainty – resulting in unavoidable collateral damage to the garden, lawn, flowers and more. And yet, when we wake ourselves up from the chaos of Covid, the political huffing-puffing, pressurized protests and trade tensions, we realize that we are still the ‘lucky’ ones. No one in dairy wants to complain above
a murmur, but this has been a tough year on many, and their situations are valid. I don’t mean to diminish the very real economic squeeze that is being felt and predicted into 2021–butit’sChristmas,andIpledgetoputawaythewoes of the world and focus on gratitude. Of course, gratitude is made easier by the many blessings we still enjoy – so the real test is to choose gratitude even on the hard days.
I’m thankful for the dairy industry, the farmers, staff, suppliers, industry reps, researchers...everyone who makes this a rich, dynamic industry. I’m thankful for the advertisers who support me, Chris, and Kevin – making the BC Holstein News a great little publication. I’m thankful for the kindness of all those who send us encouragement – those words fill my tank and strengthen friendships. Thank you.
I’m thankful for our dairy leaders – it’s been a long, bumpy road – so many marauding issues in all directions – provincial regs, trade, food labeling, protesters, food guide, national/provincial dairy markets.... Words of
appreciation go a long way to uplift those fighting the good fight. If you’ve not done it in a while, I encourage you to touch base with one of our people on a dairy board. I suspect it will lift your spirits too.
You can’t buy it, breed it, bake it or make it. You have to decide it. Decide to be thankful. Each of us has a choice onwhattofocus–politics,pandemics,tradeconcessions, or Gratitude?
I’m one of those nuts who listens to Christmas songs for a month, drinks litres of egg nog and eats far too much Christmas baking.... How lucky am I?? Sometimes I need reminding that I am living the dream... Even if the cows get out once in a while!
Merry Christmas to each one of you – may you have a time of blessings and peace with those precious to you around your table.
 AChris Maarhuis
s I pause to reflect on 2020 for our last issue of the year, I wonder how to sum up all the ups and downs of an incredibly turbulent year. As I write this, the case numbers in BC are still rising, and the threat of further restrictions looms uncomfortably. It’s been a long year of feeling a little on edge, negatively affecting our perspectives, but I feel a little nudge to look at the positives.
As dairy farmers, we can continue to work in the barn as we always did. Cows don’t require us to wear masks! (not yet anyway!) We can count the blessings of continued employment,andsteadypaycheques,which so far continue for Jason, me and three of our kids. Work has been a healthy, calming anchor through the uncertainty. Jenna is the only member of our family who has been
majorly impacted by Covid – she is doing her University of Waterloo courses online, in her bedroom, instead of getting a taste of living away from home. (But Mom is so glad she’s here and safe! Definitely another blessing!)
Perhaps the pandemic has reminded us what is really important in our lives. Quality time with family and friends is sorely missed, as is worshipping together with our church family. But we are so blessed to have the technology to still keep in touch, from the comfort of our homes!
I hope that you too can see your blessings, especially through this crazy year, and embrace the lessons forced upon us. Let’s be thankful for all we have, for each other and look forward to a better 2021! Wishing you all a blessed Christmas!
AKevin Plastow
s the newest member of the BCHN team, I would like to say how much I have enjoyed getting to know you this past year. I think of you as I am creating the graphic finishes to each issue of the Holstein News. It’s meaningful being connected to the people in this dairy community.
2020 started great with the annual Farm Tours and Ag Show. As someone who spends their day behind a computer screen, it was refreshing to get out and see first hand how a dairy farm operates. Who knew robots were so entrenched in the industry?? That was the biggest surprise. The other was how efficient and welcoming everyone was. There were plenty of handshakes (I miss those) and everyone took the time to explain the myriad of
details that are involved in running a dairy farm. Did I mention robots!? The Ag Show was the same eye opener - the diversity, the sophistication and sheer size of some of the equipment was staggering! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and I look forward to when we can do it again.
2020 has taught us all a lot and I take from it a great sense of appreciation of all the good things that surround us. A simple handshake, a close up conversation, being comfortable in a crowd... the simple things.
With that I hope all of you enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and indulge yourself in your favourite holiday traditions. Be safe, be healthy, have a very Merry Christmas and here's to a kinder and gentler New Year!

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