Skip to main content

Day 141: The Family Farmer

Yesterday I took a 400-mile round-trip tour of eastern North Dakota. Half of my trip was spent alone, which is food for the soul for a melancholic/ISTJ! I brought along a few old friends, CDs from the "rarely spun" category, to keep me company.

As I drove north on 281, then east on Highway 2, I noticed what seemed like a thousand farmsteads. I saw plenty of tractors working, people cleaning and moving equipment, and of course endless fields. I got to thinking about the memes I see online about how hard-working and under-appreciated certain people are, namely teachers and nurses. For the record, I don't disagree. Neither of those occupations are something I could do even adequately. However, rarely do I see anyone sharing about the family farmer, the heart and soul of our state and greater Midwest. The music, which was from the '90s, added to my nostalgic and sentimental feelings.

I realize I'm biased because I descend from a long line of farmers, and my brother and dad continue the tradition. I see plenty online about GMOs, vegan diets, and uninteresting celebrity "news,"  but not many stories of the hardworking farm families scattered across our area.

I think of them working long into the nights, anticipating poor weather to come. I think of them coming together to help their neighbors, rather than seeing them as competitors. I see wives working alongside husbands, tending to the family's needs and often working another job as well (probably for health insurance).

Farming and ranching are not for the faint of heart. Any old rube could not succeed in agriculture today. Farmers wage bets against the weather and the prices, constantly working a puzzle with an infinite number of pieces. They want to succeed, and are driven to do so by a passion, without which they would likely fail. I imagine any form of self-employment saddles entrepreneurs with endless worries and stresses. No sick days allowed! So many decisions! Farmers need to be savvy in business and willing to shoulder huge risks.

My intention for putting together these few thoughts was simply to share my gratitude for being raised by a hardworking farmer, and for all of the farmers and ranchers who have directly or indirectly improved my quality of life. I realize there are so many people who work hard and are responsible for how great I have it and today the hardworking farmer tops my gratitude list. If you know of one, shake their hand and buy them a cup of coffee or a cold beer. They probably need it.


  1. All the heart emojis!!! I wasn't raised in a farming family, per-say, but consider myself to be of the mindset of a decedent of a family farmer. My dad's business catered to the family farmer and because of that, he put in the long hours and felt a lot of their stress. Observing my mom prepare a completely separate meal for my dad, and later my brother, when they got home late in the summer months - after she'd worked all day, and took care of the house, the yard, and the children - I often wondered why she wouldn't just give them leftovers from our dinner? As I grew older, I realized, it was because she appreciated them and thought, at very least, they deserved a fresh, hot meal at the end of a very long work day!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I Am A Blogger: CWBN 2017 Recap

The last weekend in March I had the great pleasure of attending a real life blogging conference! Like a real blogger!
JacquiAnna and Susanna hosted the Catholic Women's Blogging Network Twin Cities get together at a stunning Summit Avenue mansion in St. Paul. Thirty-some wonderful Catholic women from the Twin Cities, the Midwest, and even Maryland joined up to talk blogging and really just to support each other and build each other up.

My friend Monica encouraged me to go, and I signed up on a bit of a whim, figuring that if I paid for registration I'd be more inclined to go. If I didn't have a mutual friend link to one of the organizers, and if a couple of my most favoritest bloggers hadn't been speakers, I'd probably have chickened out. 
In response to my evident nerves on the way, my husband wisely mused, "Well, if you're going to walk into a group of people you don't know, this is probably the best group you could pick." Catholic. Women. Fro…

Day 304: You Have Dignity Because You Belong To God

"We let our ability to do things speak to our dignity.... You are not valuable because you do things. You are not valuable because you look good or because you have a charming personality or because you have been successful at work. You have dignity because you belong to God." ~The Reverend Brian Larkin, Homily for 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 23, 2016. 

Listen to the full homily here (choose the one for XXX Sunday in Ordinary Time).

His homily is directly related to a physician-assisted suicide measure on the ballots in Colorado next week, but is applicable to everyone. He tells a moving story about Pope John Paul II at the end of his life, and discusses how, as humans, we all have inherent dignity. Even if we are not productive (something I could use a lesson in). Even if we are suffering (which we all will at times).

I'm so glad that my church is clear about its stance on human dignity. We aren't valuable because someone wants us or because we are doing s…

Seven Random Things I Like

It's been a while, so I'm going to link up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum  for 7 Quick Takes today! I present to you seven random things I like, and for which I am grateful today.

1. Lent! Time to repent! I do like Lent, and with a weird rib-area cartilage injury and a bad cold to set the pace, it's shaping up to be a really Lenty Lent. I'm using the Blessed is She Lenten journal for my daily prayer time and am trying...t r y i n g this 5-Minute sacrifice. I did fairly well at it Wednesday, and pretty crappy Thursday. So there you go. Onward and upward.

I will embarrassingly admit that it took me until my 35th year to realize that I don't have to read all the things on the interwebs, even if they are about a topic of interest to me. The webs are awash with posts about how to Lent, and but thank goodness I resisted the urge to click on all of them and just licked on this one by Jenny at Mama Needs Coffee. Of course you know I want to share everything she w…