As another harvest is upon us, I am always reminded of how much I love this season. Not just because of the pumpkin craze, or the beautiful colors, or the 70 degree temperatures. Although, I do love all of those things, too!
I grew up on a farm in Illinois. I showed hogs, sewed together clothes, and baked cookies for 4-H projects. My family only purchased green tractors and red pickups. Bonfires were my Friday nights, and 4-wheeler rides were the way to my heart.
So, to me, this time of year represents harvest. The time of year when the farmers get to bring in the crop they have worked hard to grow. The crops are harvested and stored away for the winter, and food is stocked on our grocery shelves for yet another season.
When my husband took a new job, we traveled around for 2 years, living in different farm regions around the country. Mississippi, Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota, each with their own unique crops and farming methods. I feel so blessed to have met some great farmers and agricultural industry leaders.
As all of these farmers, including my own husband, father, and brother, along with many of my closest friends, are in the midst of another harvest season, I pray to God for their safety. Farming is not a job without its risks. So, I pray for understanding from others, for patience, and for kindness as our farmers are out there providing for us all.
In honor of another harvest season, I want to share 10 things you may not know about the American Farmer:
- They are up before the sun rises and often don’t make it to bed until long after the sun sets.
- Farmers are way more intelligent than perceived. They research, study, collect data, operate and fix machinery worth more than some homes, and are always changing their methods to improve. I can’t even begin to understand the knowledge they hold.
- All farmers are intensely passionate about what they do.
- During spring and harvest, they sacrifice time spent with their loved ones to put food on all of our tables.
- They are obsessed with the weather. Weather for a farmer is not small talk. It is their livelihood and can make or break their entire crop.
- Farmers want to be safe and make it home to their families after a day of work. So, when you come across a slow combine or tractor on the road, give them space and be patient. They aren’t purposefully blocking traffic or not allowing you to pass. Driving a huge piece of machinery down a busy road is not all fun and games for them either.
- They are a community. I have yet to meet a farmer who wouldn’t help another out in need. If one of them is sick, has broken equipment, or is suffering a tragedy in the midst of a season, there is a farmer right behind them ready to lend a hand.
- Farmers have really cool gadgets. From tractors that drive themselves, to drones, to data managing apps, the technology of farming is always growing.
- Farmers are full of pride. They want their rows to be planted straight, can’t stand to see a weed in their field, strive to have the highest yielding crop, and take great care of their equipment.
- They aren’t in it for the money. The market is ever changing, and it’s no different in agriculture. Coming out on top is never a guarantee. Plus, the investment they put into their crop takes away a very large chunk of their profit. They do it because they love it. They love the freedom of being out in an open field, taking their child or grandchild for a ride in the tractor, and providing for their family. Providing for the world.
Every farmer out there is someone’s father. Someone’s mother. Someone’s husband or wife. Someone’s brother or sister. Someone’s son or daughter. Be patient. Be kind. Be grateful.
So, this harvest, please join me in saying a prayer for the safety of our farmers. That their harvest will be plentiful, that the weather will be forgiving, and that each and every one of them makes it home to their families every single night. If you ever get the chance to speak with a farmer, just say “thanks.” They really do appreciate it.
And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So, God made a farmer. -Paul Harvey
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Photo from Her View From Home via Inscribed Photography
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