The fact that you can drive around any country block today and see some sort of plant emergence represents the promise of better days.
Between COVID-19 changing how American’s live day-to-day and a cold, damp spring (rain is pounding the window as I write this), this place could use some fresh air and sunshine.
Farming is a profession of hope.
You put millions of tiny, unassuming seeds in the ground, cover them up, then hope for sunshine and timely rain. You drive around weekly (or, daily) scouting fields for the first sign of emergence indicating that a tiny sprout was so mighty that it broke through million-year-old dirt with a story. All of this, while you continue to hope for sunshine and timely rain.
Life’s most valuable skills don’t come with an instruction manual and it seems we’ve learned so many of them in this profession.
the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
In farming, patience can be found when growing degree days are minimal and you have an expectation of emergence that simply isn’t happening. Patience is best learned and utilized when an implement breaks down or a spotty shower shows up and lingers on your last 50 acres to get in the ground.
hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.
In farming, optimism can be found when opening up a field to harvest in October and or pulling onto the co-op scales to sample and weigh your product. Optimism is best learned and utilized when you’re staring in the face of low commodity prices but you remember that all things are cyclical.
complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
In farming, faith can be found everywhere, including when you’re actually in the act of planting the seed, or climbing in the bin for maintenance or driving the semi through a busy intersection. Faith is best learned and utilized daily, when your feet hit the floor and you begin another day to produce food to feed people who you’ll never have the opportunity to meet.
With greased, calloused hands we’ve leafed through hundreds of instruction manuals with loose covers and marked pages in our lifetime.
But perhaps the greatest guidance we require to get this farming job done comes from within.