Dear Readers, most of us, whoever we are, and wherever we are located in the world, live no doubt in tumultuous and unprecedented times in the current day and age. And so do thousands upon thousands of farmers around the world. So many of our farmers are struggling to make a living, to carry on doing what most of them love doing most, trying their utmost to hang on to their land and properties and crops and livestock just a little longer in the hope that better times might be around the corner – if at all…
As an ex farmer, I feel dearly for them; I can sense their anguish, emphasize with them for the despair that many of them experience daily, and surely often in the small hours of the night when they find it hard to sleep or to even hope any longer… I need not remind you of the plight of so many farmers in our own potato industry who are in dire straits in these times.
So, I decided to share with you here a poem that some of you might be familiar with. It is titled “So, God Made a Farmer”. According to the folks who run the website The Machine Shed, the author is unknown, but USA Today reported that this Paul Harvey monologue of the poem was originally given to the Future Farmers of America convention in 1978. Harvey, who died in 2009, was a longtime radio favorite in the Midwest of the US. The Machine Shed published the words of the poem on their blog in Feb 2013, and I wish to thank them dearly for being able to re-publishing it here – you will find the original post on their blog here.
The YouTube video below is Paul Harvey’s heartfelt monologue of the poem and worth a listen. You will find it also on YouTube here.
As a humble ode to our farmers – men and women – here it is:
“So, God Made a Farmer”
And on the 8th day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker!”. So, God made a farmer!
God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So, God made a farmer!
I need somebody with strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back real soon…and mean it. So, God made a farmer!
God said “I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And…who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon. Then, pain’n from “tractor back”, put in another seventy two hours. So, God made a farmer!
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop on mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So, God made a farmer!
God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets…and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer!
It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight…and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed…and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self feeder and then finish a hard days work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who’d laugh and then sigh…and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life “doing what dad does”.
So, God made a farmer!
Photo: Courtesy Aussiehelpers.org.au