I know that sometimes it can be hard to understand what it is to be a farmer. Especially if you live in a very urban area, its incomprehensible to be a steward of acres and acres of land. You probably wouldn’t know the first thing to do with it! And where’s the fuel tank for a tractor anyway?
But – you have more in common with farmers than you think. If you’ve ever had any of these 6 struggles, you’re definitely in the same boat.
1. FRUSTRATION WITH THE WEATHER
For a farmer, it seems Murphy’s Law always applies here. If the soil needs to be wet, there’s no rain in the forecast. If the plants need hot and humid, we get cool and breezy. It seems as though there’s rarely a year when Mother Nature cooperates 100%.
If you’ve ever wanted a jaunt to the park and its pouring down rain, or you’ve planned a lovely fall photoshoot and a winter storm arrives just in time, you’ve got this struggle in common with a farmer.
2. WORRY ABOUT WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THINK
This really falls into the category of “the human condition,” doesn’t it? Farmers get rattled about what their neighbors will think all the time! What will the neighbor say if I’m not the first one out working in the spring? I hope the neighbors didn’t notice that we haven’t mowed the roadsides in a month. The neighbors probably think I’m nuts to try this farm practice on this type of soil … but here goes.
I know you’ve done it. You’ve worried about what your neighbor might think about your unmowed lawn, your unwashed car, your children running around the yard at 8 am on a Saturday. You’ve got this struggle in common with a farmer.
3. HARD TIME WITH PATIENCE
There are some farmers who are patient beyond all belief. Life has taught them that. But there are some who still struggle to be patient. And on the farm, there’s a TON to be patient about.
Nurturing plants and animals flat out requires patience – patience waiting for that cow to calve, patience waiting to see your seedlings sprout, patience waiting to get into the field in the spring or get the harvest out in the fall, even patience waiting for prices to increase before you can sell.
I will not believe there’s one single person reading this that hasn’t struggled with patience. If you’re a parent, you’ve had to be patient with your child. If you hold down a job, you’ve got to have patience with your boss and co-workers. If you volunteer, I know there are folks you’re helping that require patience! You’ve got this in common with a farmer!
4. FRUSTRATION WITH THE GOVERNMENT
This is a hard one to bring up, without dividing people, but frustration with the local, state, and federal government is a struggle for farmers.
The topics change. The frustrations change. But the core of it is the same – when you’re a farmer, you want people to trust your knowledge and trust the gut instinct you’ve honed over your 30 years farming (and the 20 before that watching your dad and granddad), and just let you do your job. When the government gets in the way of that, it’s a struggle.
Tax time is coming up, and maybe some of you are struggling with your tax obligation. Maybe some of you need government assistance like farmers do with crop insurance, and you just aren’t sure if it will come through. Maybe you’re fed up with politics in general and you’d like to build a bunker somewhere and hide away. If you nodded your head to any of this, you’ve got this in common with a farmer.
5. STRUGGLING WITH UNKNOWN FINANCES
There’s not a farmer alive that doesn’t stress out about an unknown financial situation. This is why farmers are lovingly called cheap, tight, and frugal by their family and friends. They never know what’s around the corner so they are always trying to save up for the crisis lurking on the horizon.
Similarly, I believe there are VERY FEW AMERICANS who haven’t struggled with an unknown financial future at some point in their lives. In fact, many of you might even be living paycheck to paycheck.
Farmers operate on a yearly basis, so they are most often living year to year, but they get you! If you’ve ever struggled with your financial situation, you have this in common with a farmer. And read this if you don’t believe me.
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director