By Julie Tomascik

Things go wrong. Equipment breaks down. It rains when you don’t want it to, and doesn’t rain when you need it to. Cows are calving. Crops need to be planted. And harvested.

There’s always a task that needs to be completed on the farm, especially when you have somewhere to be. And someone always needs a RSVP for an event.

You know the kind. Weddings. Birthdays. Family reunions. And you can’t forget all the organizations you volunteer with.

But RSVP cards don’t come with a section labeled “We’ll be there if Mother Nature cooperates and the farm chores are completed.”

It’s difficult for farming and ranching families to RSVP “yes” during planting, harvesting, breeding or calving seasons—so pretty much all year. Because farming and ranching is unpredictable. Even trying to schedule a time for supper can seem next to impossible.

But farmers and ranchers are flexible and can multitask efficiently. They work diligently to get their work finished so they can attend the neighbor’s wedding, a local kid’s graduation party or a Christmas celebration with family and friends.

But sometimes things happen. Mother Nature is relentless. It may rain for two weeks, but the ground will be ready for planting on the day they RSVP’d to attend a community fundraiser.

It’s just the way things work. But farming and ranching families know how to roll with the punches.

Just like you do.

So the next time you invite a farmer or rancher to your wedding, birthday party, banquet or community activity, keep in mind their RSVP may change with the weather.

*A version of this blog was originally published on Dec. 10, 2013.