Valentine’s Day, some people smile or even cringe at the mere mention of this holiday. Whether you like or dislike this holiday, it’s all about love and showing appreciation for someone else. Farmers don’t usually come to mind during this hearts, red rose, and chocolate filled holiday, but have you ever thought about what farmers love? I’ve compiled a list a things that most farmers love. This will of course vary from farmer to farmer but here are some basic things that make a farmer’s heart skip a beat.

clouds over corn fieldGood Weather- Farmers have a love/hate relationship with Mother Nature because many aspects of agriculture are dependent on the weather. This is especially true for farmers who grow crops because they use weather patterns to plan the best times to plant and harvest their crops. Crops need significant amounts of sunlight and rain at the right times in order to grow which will later result in a bountiful harvest. Too much or too little of either of these can cause the crop to become unhealthy and reduce yields.

New “Toys”- Yes, farmers love getting new toys but they aren’t the ones that you would usually find under a Christmas tree. They are far more expensive than something found at Toys R Us. I’m talking about the best kind of toys, new farm equipment. Who doesn’t love a brand new shiny combine that is equipped with the latest technology? Combines can start at $180,000 and go all the way up to $250,000.

living the dreamPassing down the love of Agriculture- Farmers love what they do. If they didn’t have a love for the land and the livestock they wouldn’t do it. From this comes the most rewarding aspect of farming, which is the rich family history that comes with it. Farming is a family oriented profession. In fact, 98% of farms are family owned and operated. Farmers love watching their kids grow up with the same passion for agriculture that they do. That is exactly what farming is all about.

nighttime farmingA good return on their labor (good harvest or healthy livestock)- Farmers, just like everyone else, strive to be successful in their line of work. The only difference is that farmers put in more hours and the labor is more strenuous than that of the typical nine to five job. Since farming is a time consuming profession, they expect to get a good return for their hard work. During harvest, farmers stay up late into the night harvesting. Then, they wake up early in the morning to do it all over again. Harvest cultivates a sense of accomplishment because they planted the seed and then reap the harvest of their hard work several months later.

Coffee or Caffeine- Most Americans grab a cup coffee as they rush out the door to make it through the day that involves a long drive in traffic and a day in a cubical. As stated earlier, farmers do not get nearly the same amount of sleep as a regular person would. That’s why they depend heavily on coffee and caffeine. Life on the farm is always subject to change, and there is never a set work schedule for the day. Farmers and ranchers who raise cattle have to be alert and ready to go during anytime of the night during calving season. When the grain farmer is working the hard ground at seven in the morning, it is almost certain that a thermos full of coffee will be in the cab of the tractor right along with them.

youbeenfarminglongChatting about farming- Farmers do love to talk or as many call it, shoot the breeze. Normally this talking is over a cup of coffee or a good meal. Whether that’s about yields, technology, land prices, if it has to deal with the farming lifestyle, they will talk about it. This is how many farmers learn about the outlook on their crops or the newest technology. They can learn all of this just by stopping at the local grain elevator, coffee shop, gas station, or even restaurant.

Farmer’s love for their profession and feeding the world by far exceeds something that can be bought for Valentine’s Day.  Forget the teddy bears or balloons the only things that a farmer truly loves is faith, family, and farming.

amanda zAmanda Zuercher
Illinois Central College student

Amanda is managing the IL Corn Instagram account this semester.  Go check it out!

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