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Tuesday, December 5 2017 6:30 AM
By Anne Burkholder

The Symbiotic Nature of Giving...

Have you ever noticed that when you give of yourself, inevitably you receive something in return?

This month we enter the Christmas season and I find myself thinking of all of the ways that we live in community – helping one another and working as a team to improve this journey that we call life. The holiday season allows for many traditions of giving from children’s happy voices caroling to donating time / food / clothing to those in need to spending quiet time giving thanks for the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Regardless of your family’s Christmas traditions, it is easy to recognize the true beauty of giving:

It is in giving of ourselves that we receive.

Living on a farm brings this notion of giving an added dimension. We learn about the term symbiosis in science class, but it took becoming a farmer for me to truly understand how it works. The dictionary defines symbiosis as “the interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.”

Raising food animals provides an honorable example of how humans and animals create a mutually beneficial relationship – sharing resources - to ultimately enrich the lives of our families.

Here’s an example of how it works:

Dawn brings:

 Mid-morning and the middle of the day brings:

 Afternoon brings:

We meet the daily needs of our animals – offering care, nutritious feed, and comfortable living conditions to allow for them to grow and thrive. This daily giving fulfills our God-given responsibility to honor our animals by helping them to have a good life.

We do it 365 days of the year, leaving our children waiting on Christmas morning until the animals have what they need before presents can be opened.

After a period of growing, it becomes time for the animal to give back – to do its part in the symbiotic relationship. The care that we offer as farmers and the resources that we give to the animal during its life comes back to us through the ultimate sacrifice.  The animal’s gift provides beef and a variety of other products that enrich our lives. We continue the honorable cycle of giving by being thankful for the gift.

From the beef that adorns our family dinner table that brings nourishing protein and vitamins to fuel our bodies, to the celebration of family that nurtures our hearts. The symbiotic cycle of giving that occurs on a farm blesses both the farmer as well as all those that benefit from what is reaped through the gift of the harvest.

 As we journey through the Christmas season, ILS would like to give thanks to our animals as well as their caregivers for all that they do each day to bless our lives. Together we create a symbiotic nature of giving based on the honor of caring. 







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Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.

Innovative Livestock Services

2006 Broadway Avenue
Great Bend, KS 67530

(620) 793-9200

4805 Vue du Lac
Manhattan, KS 66503

(785) 587-9700

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