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FarmingFridayEarlier this week, I wrote about my Word of the Year for 2014: Growth. I’ve also been talking with John about what his word might be. Two nights ago, over supper he told me his word: Management. I thought this was an excellent choice. I personally would be intimidated to pick a word as serious as management, but more power to him!

Before he picked this word, John & I talked about two things:

  • What went well on the farm this year?
  • What didn’t go well on the farm this year?

2013 Reflection

We decided that harvest, planting and the summer projects (bunkhouse, our house) went well. We didn’t get as much done in terms of building fence, but we were also busy getting married. We were very excited to have found a new, excellent accountant during 2013. But, he also decided that an area he would like to improve in during 2014 is record keeping. This seems like a constant uphill battle.

2014 Hopes

In 2014, John’s word of the year for the farm is: Management. My father always liked to say, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

But he wasn’t really lecturing me, he was lecturing himself.

Most farmers & cattlemen hate the idea of spending time in front of a desk keeping records. (For example, my Dad & John.) They would much rather be outside caring for cattle or building a fence. This is going to be a theme that will be challenging. I’m proud of him for choosing to tackle an area that he considers a weakness!


The photos above represent the management-related goals for the farm:

  • Build fence around trees on South 80 to protect from cattle rubbing on younger trees & killing them
  • Replace old pens, determine new layout
  • Decided what to do with this barn
  • Keep individual input/expense records on each field

I’m excited about 2014, both with my word Growth & John’s word Management. I’d also like to say that I’m thankful for these Farmin’ Friday posts. It forces me to sit & write these things down. It also forces us to talk about our goals. I have a pretty strong feeling, if I didn’t have a Friday AM deadline – I would have never written these things down. If you are considering goals for your farm or ranch in 2014, blogger Amanda Radke has several good ideas to get you started.



  1. Julie

    I’ve been a farmer’s wife for over 40 years! There is always room for improvement and better management on a farm/ranch. We have a cow/calf operation with our son. I hear alot of talk about feed costs, breeding times, sires, problem cows, and on and on!! Not to mention fencing and more fencing. I think that was there word of the year in 2013! We are blessed to have our son and his family close by we work well together:)

    • Sierra Shea

      Hi! Thanks for your note, there is always room for improvement… And miles of fence to build! I’m so glad to hear about your cows!

  2. Laurel Wilson

    Hi Sierra,

    I have been pondering my own word for the year and I think that it might be “fun” since that is what I hope to focus on this year.

    The barn definitely needs a barn quilt!!


    • Sierra Shea

      That sounds like a great word for you! I may have to pull out my paints to make one more quilt!

  3. Morgan Ledermann

    Just an idea: Maybe John could try a farming app to help with management. Perhaps just set a goal (i.e. trial period) for three months to use the app. See if it helps. Sometimes these tools give us more feedback than we knew was possible. Just an idea! 🙂

    • Sierra Shea

      Morgan! Your idea got me thinking…John really needs an iPhone. His birthday was the other day & his contract was up on the old construction worker style flip phone. We will see how he does with the new, modern one! Know of any specific apps he should download?


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!