This week has been very challenging for me. Our family unfortunately lost my grandfather to cancer earlier this week and while I was able to go and spend some great quality time with him just before he passed, I had to be out of the country on business mid-week and meant that I have not been able to support my family as I would like to. On the plus side it has given me time to reflect as I sat on the airplane for 5+ hours and thought about just how amazing the dairy community is.
The biggest thing that stands out is how the dairy community steps up and helps their own. This week marks a great event, Friends of Andrea Crowe Fundraiser, being put on by the friends and family of Andrea Crowe in support of her battle with cancer (to read more It’s Time to Pull Together and Support One of Our Own).
The way the dairy community has come to her support and is not something you find every day. This struck me as I was talking with some business executives and they talked about how a child of a contemporary’s child was in a battle for their life. These executives who had more than enough means to offer help, just shrugged their shoulders and moved on to the next topic of discussion. They did not think to ask what they could do to help. They did not go out and start a fundraiser to help the family.
I am extremely impressed with the work that Angela Masters, Brian Craswell, Amber Craswell, Blair Weeks, Bloyce Thompson, Bruce Wood, Marie-Eve Veronneau and many others that have been putting in so much effort in order to help support Andrea. Often the best way to show you care is not with words, but with action, and the members of the Eastern Canadian dairy community are doing exactly that.
When my paternal grandfather past 9 years ago I learned a huge life lesson that I will never forget. My grandfather achieved many successes in his life. He had been a Master Breeder, won many awards for his community involvement but the one thing that I learned is that it’s not about what awards you win or how much money you make, it’s about the effect you had on the people around you. He always worked at helping young farmers and members of the community to progress. He was never a schoolteacher but it not surprising that many of his daughters did become teachers. When he passed the number of people that came out to pay tribute to the effect he had on their lives was overwhelming.
This week when my maternal grandfather passed I was reminded, it’s not about how much money, it’s about who will remember you when you are gone. Which is a lesson I need reminding from time to time, as I seek to grow the companies I run. Since the death of my first grandfather there has not been a day that I have not thought of him. The role models that both my grandfather’s were and my father still is, has me striving every day to be a better father to my children, husband to my wife and member of my community.
Life is not about how much money you make, or show winners you breed. Life is about being a part of your community, and there is no better community in the world than that of the dairy community. I have put up a sign in my office that says “Who Is Going To Miss You When You Die?” and each day I am going to make sure that I do at least one act that will contribute to my community so that when I pass at least one person will say, that “Andrew Hunt made difference”. Thank you Grandpa Sterling and Grandpa George for showing me what it means to make a difference.