“I am a farmer.”
Those words mean so much to me. I know that any occupation is going to have those who abuse or misuse the category they fall under. But, for me, farming is much more than an occupation… it’s a way of life.
It’s a way of life that I would never trade for anything.
So what is it about farming that causes those in the profession or rather, the way of life, to continue doing what they do? And not just because they have to, but because they are passionate about it…
Those who have never been a farmer may never quite understand what it is that ‘makes us tick.’ Perhaps they’ve never been filled with that little burst of pride and sense of awe the farmer feels as they look out over the fields that have been planted, and are beginning to grow because of all their tender loving care that was poured out into that venture, knowing that the Lord was the one who gave the increase.
The farmer laughs and smiles as he watches the new little calves frolicking and playing around their mothers in the bright green pasture. Then, he feels a little twinge deep in his heart as he thinks of the calf that was lost two nights ago… He and the children had been excited as they got the mother into the barn, and the farmer lovingly told the children to be quiet so that the cow would be calm. Then, three hours later, the weary farmer looked at the little tear-filled eyes before him and explained that there is “a time to be born, and a time to die… (Ecclesiastes 3:2).”
I believe that growing up on a farm is extremely beneficial to any child. The farmer’s children learn from an early age that pleasure only comes after the work has been done. There have been many times that I wanted to go to an event or have some “time off,” but it doesn’t often happen when farm work must be done. “There’s always next time,” is a pretty common phrase used by the farmer.
There is one concept that farm children learn that I wish were half as important to everyone in this whole world. The value of life. I learned early on that living, healthy animals are worth much more than mistreated or dead animals. Consequently, I learned that life is a gift from God that must be treasured; not just in the animal world but in the human world as well.
Farmers and their children understand the power and importance of family. Families stick together, and we share in everything. When it comes to eating meals, everyone should be present before the blessing is said, and all begin partaking of their own food. As a farmer’s daughter, I believe that the best friends that a person could ever have are their own family. My six siblings, my parents, and I find that our family has one of the tightest bonds of all. It would be difficult for anyone to break us apart from the love that we share.
Above all, children on the farm will learn respect. No matter whether those around me have differing opinions, I have learned to respect the fact that they have the same rights as I do. Old or young, people or animals, I believe that all deserve to be treated in the best way possible. Yes, I am a farmer, and I am blessed by God to be able to say that.
George Washington, our first president, said it best, I think: “Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man.” Indeed, we farmers are in one of the noblest occupations, where our goal is not only to provide for our own family but for the rest of the world, whether we receive thanks or not.
My name is Lydia Boley, and I live in rural Northeast Missouri. I am currently a junior majoring in agriculture science at Western Illinois University. I grew up on my family’s farm with six siblings and I am still living and working there at the present time while continuing my studies at WIU. Each year our family raises livestock, bales several acres of hay, and rents crop ground to our friends who have the equipment to manage it. Thank you for reading my blog, and God bless you!