This last month, I had the chance to get out of the office and visit the Bower family in Buhl, who operate Bower Chopping Inc. and are this month's cover story. I always enjoy these visits, diving into what makes different operations tick.

Woolsey cassidy
Managing Editor / Ag Proud – Idaho
Cassidy is a contributing editor to Progressive Cattle and Progressive Forage magazines.

Already juggling a full plate with 20 or so employees and a client list that keeps them running around much of the year, I asked a question I always pose in interviews: “What’s next? Are there any plans for growth in the next few years?”

The responses varied, with different ideas and even a few hesitations offered by the family members. Everyone, of course, wants to see their business grow and progress. But it was Rae Ann Bower, referred to as the “heartbeat” of the operation, who put things into perspective with her reminder: “It’s important we have family time too.”

“Ah, yes,” we all nodded in agreement, as we switched from thinking with our heads to thinking with our hearts. For most people, family is the most important thing, but with the demands of life and business, quality family time can often take a back seat.

I often hear that there is no better place to raise a family than on a farm or a ranch, and I completely agree – but only if one remembers why they started in the first place.


Recently, I came across a social media post by the well-known organizational psychologist, professor and author Adam Grant. In it, he summarized the science of recharging on weekends versus long vacations.

According to Grant, long vacations rarely cure burnout, offering only temporary relief. The frequency of time off from work is more important than the duration. Two separate weeklong vacations are more restorative than a single two-week trip. Regular breaks, he says, are essential for well-being.

Any farm kid knows never to say, “I’m bored,” as they’ll quickly find themselves with a list of tasks to occupy their time. The work is truly never-ending. However, that post shifts the perspective for me. Instead of thinking, “I need to take my kids to Disneyland; when will I find the time to do that?” I hear, “Let’s spend a couple of hours this afternoon kayaking on the Snake River.” That latter example seems much more manageable and offers greater benefits when done regularly.

As I write this, the choppers roar down the road from me, commencing the first cutting of the season. Across the valley, pivots are up and running, and most problematic leaks are fixed. Ranchers are hard at work branding this year’s calf crop and turning the cow herd out to the summer range. Meanwhile, crop advisers are busy scouting fields for pests and weeds of concern. And the dairies, as always, continue their 365-day grind.

For those caught in the hustle and bustle of agricultural life, the hardest part about taking time off may be leaving the farm in the rearview mirror. However, taking a break doesn’t mean neglecting responsibilities. It means prioritizing time for what truly matters – your family, your well-being, and finally, your business.