Agriculture is a funny place. To strive and survive as a farmer takes a lot of guts and sheer determination. It’s an industry filled with educated (contrary to what many think), self reliant and hard headed individuals.
Agriculture is an industry that sits at a round table, bickering back and forth about what practices are best all while doing what we think is right by the environment, the land, the livestock and the consumer. We bicker because we are individually passionate about what we do. It’s a battle within a battle to do the right thing, many times we chose what we think it best and defend it with a sword and shield of words and images, science and data.
The recent tragedies I’ve read and heard about make one thing glaringly true about agriculture… it’s a word that binds. If you call agriculture your industry, you’ve seen and witnessed it time and again.
- A farm girl becomes ill with breast cancer – the ag community raises together to send letters, cards, handmade items to cheer her on
- Another farmer, diagnosed with a life threatening illness, watches as local tractors and equipment pull into his farm to get the crops off the field
- A young farm girl spends time in the hospital and the ag world follows her recovery along and many of us shed tears when she enters the show ring again
- Farmers face droughts and hay shortages and you’ll see tractor trailers line up to haul hay wherever it needs to go
- A dairy farmer loses his barn to a lightening strike with many animals killed, others injured and still more need a place to go to be milking and other local farms open their barns and wallets to help out.
- Another dairy barn burns to the ground and the entire community pulls together to get bottles and other supplies desperately needed.
- Another farm gets hit by an electric shortage and burns. The entire community pulled together to find homes or relocate animals, financially assist and even donate time and energy to repairs.
This pulling together within the agricultural community isn’t uncommon. It’s amazing how a group that battles within is so devoted to each other. The word is just that… a word with so much more meaning.
Agriculture is an industry filled with bands of brothers and sisters bonded together through tragedy, hope, determination, stubbornness and understanding. When one grieves, many grieve. When one struggles, many struggle too. It’s not often that a farmer will close the door on another farmer or rancher. It’s not uncommon to hear words of encouragement, prayers and donations during times of need.
As I walked into this life, this banding together through thick and thin is something I never thought possible in the modern era. But yet, as days go by and wild fires burn, more and more come together to hold each other up with an emotional understanding of common ground. The common ground of heartache and struggles, the common ground of knowing that even when the chips are down, this is one group that will never give up or give in.
I take pride in my involvement in agriculture. Giving back in situations when I can, praying that I don’t ever suffer these kinds of tragedies, sharing my knowledge and dedicated my time when needed. I’m proud to say that I’m a farm girl, farmHer, farm mom or whatever other title you’d like to give me… Ultimately, I am a sister, friend, mother to many, daughter, aunt and so much more to my Ag family.
In the big picture of things, I couldn’t have requested a better “family” to join. I’m so blessed to know, respect and love so many in this industry… so if you haven’t lately, could you thank a farmer or rancher for all their hard work and loyalty to this industry. Just a wave will do. A nod of the head at the store or gas station. Just a little something to let us know you understand we devote our lives to something so much greater than just having a “farm” or “ranch”.