“God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board ... so God made a farmer.”
Paul Harvey’s 1978 speech to the National FFA organization rings true in many ways for farmers in our community.
Farmers are busy year-round, with every season bringing its own set of challenges. Each new year as we welcome the heart of winter, those who have lived the challenges and reaped the rewards of being a farmer know that this season tends to bring the most joy but some heartbreak; the most reward, but the most challenging work.
This time of year, farmers all over our community are out before the sunrise: hauling hay to fields, getting cattle up, laying out salt licks and mineral blocks, crushing corn, checking stock tanks and other water sources, thawing out what is needed, and anxiously awaiting calves to drop in the new year. All the while, they’re not only farmers but often mechanics and veterinarians.
Our local farmers are spending time fixing tractors and preparing equipment for the spring and summer months that will be used from sun-up to sun-down, well beyond that of the 40-hour work week many of us hold.
Among the plethora of other titles that farmers keep under their belt, they serve as their own veterinarian many times during the year, doctoring and treating cattle to ensure their health and a good sale come Friday at the stockyards.
In a time when the rest of the world shut down, and progress came to a crawl, farmers were still doing all of these things and so much more.
Just as my uncle, Donald Grant said, “If we stop farming, people don’t eat.”
That’s a heavy weight for every farmer to carry, but they always carry it well.
There may not be many events to share news about in the coming days for Kirksville, but there is certainly something to be said for the folks who “work in acres, not hours” and continue to toil, no matter what else is happening in the world.
Reach Carrie Grant at (859) 582-4790.