Tractors. Corn. An old man in overalls with a piece of straw hanging out of his mouth. Our world is filled with stereotypes about farmers. While some may be true, there are others that are not quite as accurate. For instance, a lot of older farmers hire younger people to do the labor-intensive work around the farm. These farmhands help with bailing hay, getting ready for planting and harvesting season, and milking cows. The list can go on and on. Although these jobs have pretty good pay and give you experience, you are worked to the bone. So, the decision between going to bed and going out with your friends is a pretty easy one. The last thing you want to do is come into work the next day hungover and have to smell pig manure. This leads to a lesser known fact about farming: it keeps you out of trouble.

How can farming keep you out of trouble?

  1. Constantly in the field or working with livestock.

As a farmer or a farmhand, you rarely have a day off. Fields always need to be scouted for diseases and pests. Livestock needs to be fed, milked, checked and maintained two – three times a day. Basically, you’re “dog tired by the five o’clock hour.


2. Hard to have friends when you smell like manure….

At some point every single one of us has driven past a beef, swine, or poultry farm. As we pass, we get that ever so wonderful whiff of manure. Once you’ve worked around the smell for a while, it becomes unnoticeable to you. But to everyone else around you……that’s another story. Imagine that there exists a day that you actually have the energy to go to a bonfire with your buddies. Everyone is sitting around and they start making jokes that you will burst into flames from the methane coming from your clothes. Essentially, you become the butt of the joke.



3. You’re too polite……your country ways

How can you be too polite?! So a good country boy takes the girl out on nice dates: to a movie, a dinner, or a county fair. Which means you pay because what guy doesn’t pay? If you are really trying to impress that one girl, money is an option! You’ll do anything you can to get her attention, but treating her to a nice dinner and concert every weekend can take a toll on your wallet. When it soon becomes empty, you have no money which means you can’t take that nice gal on dates…which can keep ya out of trouble.

In the end you simply don’t have time, but when you do, you want to spend it wisely. This means choosing friends that don’t have to see you every night to consider you a friend and finding a girl who can enjoy a nice night under the stars, instead of going to a concert every weekend. Farming life can be a challenge and you don’t get a lot of free time. That is why those who do choose the farm life have a sincere passion for it and don’t mind hanging out all day with Bessie the cow or watching the sunset in the tractor. “Do what you love, love what you do!”



Cailyn Carstens
Illinois State University


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