For those of you who haven’t made the connection, the “Tim Yohnka” I always talk about is actually my boyfriend. His family raises corn, soy beans, and wheat. My family no longer does any sort of farming, so I farm vicariously through his. Granted, last time we owned ground for agricultural use, I was probably 13. However, from the first time I bottle-fed a calf, or maybe from my first tractor ride with Dad, the farm bug bit me.
Even as I study Internet Communications (a trade hardly ever associated with agriculture) I love it. I’m dying to get back to the country where the air is fresh and things are simpler.
Well, farmers have it pretty dang good when it comes to the simple things in life. You may know a farmer your whole life, but you don’t truly know them until you see them in their element. There’s something about Tim that changes when he’s driving a tractor. Even during the worst harvest either of us had lived through, he was in his element.
Think of any rancher or ranch hand you know. Are they happier in a suit, or on a horse? Have you ever watched a farmer or rancher look out at their fields or pastures? I’m pretty sure when you do, you can see a little piece of their soul. You may see it in other trades. I’m told that I’m at my best when I’m covered in paint making my next mediocre masterpiece. (I’m a farmkid, but by no means a farmer. Above all else, I’m actually an artist!) Tim says he sees it in me when I sit down to draw or draft.
No one enjoys those simple moments as often as our farmers and ranchers do. In the rain and the wind and the floods and the droughts and the hard and the bad and the good, farmers love their work. They get those moments of peace before dawn, when the world is quiet, that few people can truly enjoy. They have a relationship with the Earth like few others have experienced. They also get to drive big trucks and tractors, which is a pretty cool fringe benefit. Anyways, if you want to see what farming is, look past how dirty or sweaty or tired a farmer or rancher looks. Watch his face as they survey their work and watch over the land and animals they care for.
I promise you’ll see something amazing. Every time I go home, I see it on Tim’s face. It’s a magical thing, and I only hope someday I can love what I do as much as these people.