I am not a farmer, and I am pretty sure that if my dad had his preference he would not even want me calling myself the son of a farmer.
I have none of the skills farmers need to possess to be successful in their world.
Lately, my green thumb has even been fading away.
Yet, over the past 40-plus years I have learned a lot about what it means to be a farmer, and, quite honestly, I am glad I did not feel the need to follow that path.
Farming has been tough in the past.
I recall the struggles of the 1980s, and I have read many stories about the challenges those who are called on to feed the world faced during the years when grasshoppers wiped out entire crops. You can just about hear the desperation in the voices of farmers when you read those tragic accounts.
So, as the 2019 crop season begins, our area’s farmers are going to again be facing an uphill battle. The weather has already been uncooperative.
In more ideal years some farmers would already be in the fields, while others would be talking very seriously about getting there soon. Yes, there is still plenty of time for those crops to get in the field, but the reality is with each passing day the level of stress farmers begin to feel becomes very real.
This is a time when that stress will only exacerbate what is already an extremely challenging profession. Margins are very tight, and input costs are not going down to reflect the drop in prices for commodities. People who enjoyed the high cash rents for years are not willing to let that cash cow go away.
So, what can we do?
I think the best place to start is by preparing ourselves for the season ahead.
How does that manifest itself?
I believe it starts by demonstrating an even greater level of patience with those who are trying to get their work accomplished in a window that is closing.
When you see a farmer, share a few simple words of thanks.
While they may brush it off, deep down I think just knowing the community appreciates their efforts goes a long way.
Pray for farmers, because they need it.