If you have farmer friends or observe farming neighbors, spring can be a peculiar time. You probably won’t see them as often, and they may seem tired or distracted when you do see them. It doesn’t take much thought to make the connection of their behavior and all the work you see being done across the countryside. Spring is a time of both planting crops and harvesting hay. You will see farmers working in this area late each sunny evening. Most of those farmers that you see have another job in addition to their agricultural duties. What may be difficult to understand is why someone would work so hard at something that doesn’t even pay enough to be their sole profession.
My father worked to instill a train of thought in me about farming that is common among most farmers: Stewardship. We don’t think typically think of land, plants, or animals as ours. Rather, we are stewards of these possessions. It is our responsibility to leave the land better than we found it, animals happy and healthy, and plants growing well. Profit is all too often an afterthought among farmers. It gives us a sense of duty and purpose to tend to our temporary possessions and that is what drives us to work grueling hours for seemingly little in return.
During the spring, farmers are stretched for time and are drained from long hours of work. We view it as a blessing to have this work to keep the world fed and the countryside growing healthily. If you would like to help out your agricultural neighbors and friends, now is a great time to offer to take their kids to practice and events or stop a meal by in the evening. Take the time to appreciate the beauty of our land, crops, and animals and thank our farmers for all that they do.