Being a farmer is just as much of a career as any other job.  In fact, a family farm is a business that takes years to become established and to grow.  For some people, being a farmer is in their blood.  I don’t think I have never met a farmer who did not love what they do.  I think that farmers can see good in any situation easily because focusing on the positives is often what gets them through.  Without the following, farmers could not do what they do.

  1. Family

On most days, a farmer’s family is what gets them through the day.  Maybe it is his spouse, who does everything she can to work as a team to make sure they run a successful operation.  Maybe it is his kids who he wants to be an example for.  It could even be his parents, who taught him everything he knows about farming.  Even when a farmer does not have a typical family or isn’t a 5th generation farmer, his family is still what got him to where he is today. The family is something that the farmer can go to after all the work is finished.

  1. Land

40% of all land in the United States is farmland. This seems like a lot, but as time goes by acquiring land is becoming more and more difficult.  Land is so precious because everyone who has it wants to keep it.  A common way that a farmer own land is by inheriting it from his father or grandfather.  This doesn’t mean that he didn’t work for it, though, because odds are he has been working this land his entire life and maybe even for free. He might have even bought it off of his parents.  In addition to owning land, the farmer probably farms other people’s land for a profit, which is called cash-rent.  With land being so rare, farmers are so thankful that they have it.

  1. Equipment

Farm technology has come a long way.  Farmers today rely so heavily on technology, but it is part of what has made them so successful in recent years.  Equipment can be expensive and maintenance can be difficult, but investing in these machines is so worth it.  With so many other factors that go into farming, having more efficient machinery is a huge advantage.

  1. Good Weather

Yes, everyone likes good weather, but farmers need good weather.  Good weather has different definitions, and for most people that includes sunshine.  Farmers are thankful for sunshine because the crops need it, and they are thankful for the predictable weather because that’s how they know when to plant and harvest.  Unlike most people, farmers love the rain.  When farmers have the right amount of rainfall on their crops, they are so thankful.  Their livelihood depends on the weather, so farmers are especially grateful for good weather because it means they will usually have a good crop.

“The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer” is a quote from Will Rogers.  It means that no matter what goes wrong, the farmer has to look at what is right to keep going.  When a farmer is blessed with family, land, equipment, and weather, he is very blessed.  When he is not, he still has many other blessings to count.

Kylie Lindley-Bohman
University of Illinois

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