The character of farming
I have been strongly contemplating my life as a farmer's wife in the past few weeks as our family has experienced a higher level of stress due to uncooperative weather, failing equipment and a complete lack of time. The list in the spring is long, the days too short and the weather tumultuous.
All that, combined with the everyday commitments of four thriving children can make for a perfect storm of stress. Despite the fact that it is the same thing every year, I am never prepared enough to be as full of grace as I should be.
As my children have grown, the breadth of responsibility they take on at the farm has grown as well, so I am not the only one experiencing a higher level of stress. Sometimes I become concerned by the demands indirectly placed upon them.
We (my farmer and I) have become dependent on them and the assistance they provide in accomplishing all that we need to get done in a given day. They work very hard, show deep commitment to their home and family, are disciplined in both their work and play and show compassion for one another when sharing the duties bestowed upon them. They understand the necessity to share the burdens of our profession and the old adage that "many hands make light work."
I have been helping out in our local schools lately and have observed many things through the experience. It has given me pause to step back and be thankful for the character development the farm has provided for my children and how that is preparing them for adulthood.
We live in a very interesting world today to say the least. I have always believed that growing up on a farm would potentially be a bonus for my family, and that has proven to be true.
Spring planting and field work calls for an above-and-beyond mentality in our family. We must sacrifice just about everything for a few weeks to ensure the crops are in. It is temporary and necessary at the same time and teaches the art of delayed gratification. We are almost finished planting. The weather has not been helpful. But when we finish we will wait with anticipation for a great harvest.
I believe in farming as a profession. I believe in the heritage of agriculture, and I believe in the future because of what I do and how it has shaped and prepared my children. When you contemplate the world they will inherit, do you anticipate how work ethic, commitment and discipline will play into our future as a society?
In some ways, these are things that we take for granted on the farm because it is an integrated part of our everyday life. But from a big picture view, it is my hope that we can instill these classic values in our youth for years to come. Not only will it benefit agriculture, but the future of our world.