This is a Farmer

Farmers are found in fields plowing up, seeding down, returning from, planting to, fertilizing with, spraying for and harvesting it. Wives help them, little boys follow them, the Agriculture Department confuses them, city relatives visit them, salesmen detain them, meals wait for them, weather can delay them, but it takes Heaven to stop them.

When your car stalls along the way, a farmer is a considerate, courteous, inexpensive road service. When a farmer's wife suggests he buy a new suit, he can quote from memory every expense involved in operating the farm last year, plus the added expense he is certain will crop up this year. Or else he assumes the role of the indignant shopper, impressing upon everyone within earshot the pounds of pork he must produce in order to pay for a suit at today's prices.

A farmer is a paradox - he is an "overalled" executive with his home his office; a scientist using fertilizer attachments; a purchasing agent in an old straw hat; a personnel director with grease under his fingernails; a dietician with a passion for alfalfa, animals, and antibiotics; a production expert faced with a surplus; and a manager battling a price-cost squeeze. He manages more capital than most of the businessmen in tow.

He likes sunshine, good food, state fairs, dinner at NOON, auctions, his neighbors, Saturday nights in town, his shirt collar unbuttoned, and above all a good soaking rain in August.

He is not much for droughts, ditches, throughways, experts, weeds, the eight-hour day, helping with the housework, or grasshoppers.

Nobody else is so far from the telephone or so close to God. Nobody else gets so much satisfaction out of modern plumbing, favorable weather, and good ice cream. Nobody else can remove all those things from his pockets and on washday still have overlooked five "steeples," one cotter key, a rusty spike, three grains of corn, the stub end of a lead pencil, a square tape, a $4.98 pocket watch, and a cupful of chaff in each trouser cuff.

A farmer is both Faith and Fatalist - he must have faith to continually meet the challenges of his capacities amid an ever-present possibility that an act of God (a late spring, an early frost, tornado, flood, drought) can bring his business to a standstill. You can REDUCE HIS ACREAGE, but you can't RESTRAIN HIS AMBITION.

Might as well put up with him - he is your friend, your competitor, your source of food and fiber, and self-reliant young citizen to help replenish your cities. He is your countryman - a denim-dressed, business-wise, fast-growing statesman of stature.

And when he comes in at noon having spent the energy of his hopes and dreams, he can be recharged anew with the magic words: "The Market's up."

illustration of ear or corn

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst."
John 6:35