I can’t believe that I am so blessed to be able to do the work that I do. Because I have a very flexible schedule, I have opportunities that most people don’t have with a full-time job and multiple part-time responsibilities.
Just last week I helped with a strategic plan for our Teammates chapter, attended a community building conference and networked with other professionals in the community. I was able to help plan end of the year with our Hope Squad.
At the farm I did chores twice a day and prepared a group of heifers for pasture, despite their unwillingness to be herded. (That’s a really long story or a comedy of errors that was not very funny at the time.)
But perhaps the time that I was able to spend with a friend at the sale barn was the most important thing that I was able to do. He was selling a group of cattle that he really didn’t want to sell, but needed to pay some bills.
As I watched the cattle auction and prices going way lower than they should have for quality animals, my heart ached. It is no one’s fault, it’s just the market that day or who was there bidding. A lot of factors outside of anyone’s control affect the price of the animals.
But it doesn’t change the fact that those farmers have put their heart and soul into their animals and their land. Most people don’t understand that idea.
Most people go to work forty hours a week and would never allow their hard work go for that low of a price at auction. Most farmers measure their time in acres worked.
That same day as I went to the farm to do chores, our renters were planting the corn. Watching their equipment roll through the fields of the land that my dad loved so much, well, there were a lot of tears that I can’t even explain.
Farmers work from before the sun is up until the after the sun sets throughout the seasons of cold, heat, rain, drought and snow.
Most people would never consider farming because as my dad used to say “farming is a gamble.” I think it’s a faith that can’t be measured.
Farmers put tiny seeds in the ground and pray that they grow to produce a crop that will feed their animals and the world. They physically and emotionally struggle and while they have chosen this life, they wouldn’t trade it for a job that most people work.
I found this and felt like it summed it up better than I could.
“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: “Love. They must do it for Love.” Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable. They love to live where they work and to work where they live.” (Wendell Berry)
Farming is about belief, faith, passion and purpose to me.
Most people cannot be a farmer, but everyone can live their daily life with that same love, belief, faith, passion and purpose.
That same night I went to concert with my daughter. The Christian artist reminded the audience that, “Every day you can make a difference to someone else. You can give them hope.”
What are you doing to make a difference today?