Nikolyn Williams - #AgMoms
We're celebrating the moms in agriculture.
We interviewed 10 #AGMOMS. Each were asked 5 questions. Our goal? To inspire long-time mothers, new mothers, and aspiring mothers who feel overwhelmed, over worked, or moms who just need a little encouragement.
Mom #1: Nikolyn Williams, T-N Embryo Service & Williams Cattle Co., Quitaque, TX
"So for me, the sanity was the madness of it all."
You homeschooled two kids and put them through college all while helping your husband run T-N Cattle Repro and raise Angus cattle. How did you keep balance your time and still manage to stay sane?
I used to hear about mothers that went on trips and had “me time.” That was always a big mystery for me. I never wanted that. My whole heart has always been with these two kids, Ty, the cows, the dogs and the horses. None of us would have it any other way. We just weren’t happy unless we were caught up in whatever cattle whirlwind there was for the time or day. I had to be organized as hell. All the supplies, medicine and feed wouldn’t happen unless I was on top of it all. I don’t know how it was or is for anyone else. Ty and I were never afraid to try anything and we just took those two kids right along on every ride with us. So for me, the sanity was the madness of it all.
Both of your kids grew up in agriculture and are still involved in it through their career paths. Why do you find it important to teach your children about raising livestock and what was the best way for you to teach them?
Nothing In agriculture is easy anyone that tries to say different is probably not being totally truthful. You know, there were a lot of trials and tribulations. However there is an unshakeable bond between a man/woman and their livestock. It's hard to explain unless you've experienced calving in the snow, sleet or rain. It's not all blue skies and the romantic west you see in the movies. Back then I was more concerned with raising a good, hard working, trust worthy individual. I knew we'd probably never have the monetary things that most young families work towards. That was never the goal. We did it for the way of life. There will never be a bigger responsibility or reward than to be the care taker of God's creatures. I wanted them to know that feeling, that love, and the responsibility that comes with it. To learn to figure things out for themselves. In that respect I had to learn to let Ty throw them in the fire, so to speak, and he did, and they learned. I was always more interested in whether they could think and figure things out, not necessarily could they memorize. So, we handed them the best horse we could and when we thought they could handle it, told them to get it done. Sometimes I think back at how young they were on cattle drives. How we'd expect them to hold their place on a drive? We might should have had our head examined.
What is one of your favorite memories working cattle with your children?
Oh gosh there were so many. Branding time of course. I loved when we were all four horseback together, however there were those 70 mile trips we used to take to a ranch we had leased Goat Island, down past Turkey on the Red River after we'd check cows me and the kids when it was just us three would crawl through the fence and go swimming in the River. It was so salty when we got out we had a white salt film all over us we looked like we had been white washed!
What do you think y’all would be doing if your family wasn’t in the cattle business?
For every person God has a plan. His plan for us has always been to take care of his cattle. I learned a long time ago not to question that, so I've never even thought about the answer to this question before today. So I'm guessing it would probably have been a zoo keeper? I don't think for people like us it was ever a choice thing. It was just in us, who we are. The "scientists" like to say part is environment and part genetic. I'm guessing this wild cow bunch has a God given genomic make up!
Can you share some advice for #AgMoms who feel like there is too much on their plate?
I guess if I felt qualified to advise someone else on raising their kids, it would be to say follow your instincts, trust yourself, and above all don't let the guilt game get you. For us...we were lucky. We raised them in a barn, on a horse, or pulling a cow around wheather it was a stock show, or whatever. It's a good life for kids to grow up that way. How do I know this? Because they tell me from time to time we had the best childhood anyone could have asked for. That's all you really need to hear.
Stay tuned for the next 9 #AGMOMS!