What if I had woke up today with only the things I thanked God for yesterday? I will be the first to admit that I often take things for granted, we all do. It may be something small, such as the dinner I ate with my family. Or maybe while I was busy complaining about a homework assignment, I forgot how grateful I am for the opportunity to attend such a prestigious university that supports my passion for agriculture. I could name a million things I forgot to thank God for yesterday and that list still would not be long enough. For the next fifteen days, I will be posting something I am thankful for each day. I encourage you to follow me through the month of April and express thankfulness as you reflect on your own life.
Day 1: Qualities of a Farmer
Dedication. Calving season is amongst us. One of the most exciting, most stressful, and most unpredictable times of the year for cattle farmers. If you want to see genuine dedication, follow a farmer for a week during calving season. From pulling a calf at 2:00 in the morning to spending hours bottle feeding a calf who lost its mother, no moment is guaranteed to roll smoothly.
Determination. No matter how wet the Spring is or how many times the planter breaks down, farmers still have to get seeds in the ground. A predictable work schedule doesn’t exist. When conditions are ideal, you can bet every farmer will be in the fields scrambling to get some work done before mother nature strikes again. Come Fall, the process starts all over again with harvest. The bottom line is, the crops must go in and the crops must come out… and survive during that period.
Passion. I believe it is impossible to be a farmer if there is no passion for farming. The hardships are endless, and situations only get more complicated as the world moves forward. Submitting your two weeks notice isn’t exactly an option in this career. Farmer’s don’t choose the farming lifestyle to get rich quick or have the freedom to make their own hours. They choose to farm because there is no greater feeling of success than watching a newborn calf suck or seeing their crops keep the world from going hungry.
What does all this have to do with me being thankful? I am thankful to have grown up in a family of farmers who have shown me the true meaning of these qualities. Seeing my great-grandpa drive his tractor through the fields at 98-years-old showed me that the passion for doing what you love can outweigh any disadvantage you might have. Watching my grandpa tend to a newborn calf throughout the entire night showed me an undeniable dedication to caring about what you love. Knowing my dad spent the night in the combine trying to beat the snow storm showed me that determination is required in order to achieve success. I strive every day to follow in the footsteps of these amazing farmers in my life and could not be more grateful to call them my family.