Tucked away in a collection of newspaper clippings and personal memorabilia of my mother-in law's personal keepsakes was this poem about the American farmer. We celebrate the bounty of food in America because of the farmers across our nation. I do not know who wrote this piece but I do know it was clipped from some type of farm magazine. I am sharing this today as a tribute to all farmers and farm families that are working so hard everyday and embracing the challenges to provide food,fiber, and fuel for our citizens.
A Tribute to the American Farmer
I am only a farmer. I know the sun better than anyone. And the soil. And the wind. And the rain. I am the man who works with them. Who lives with them. Who loves them. And who sometimes fears them.
I am only a farmer. I am the sower of seeds. I am the tender of stock. I am the reaper of harvest. I am sweat. And tears. And pride.
I am only a farmer. I am the man the feeds the young. And the old. The weak. And the strong. I am the black earth of Spring. The green hills of Summer. The harvest gold of Autumn. And the cold white stillness of winter.
I am only a farmer. I am warm memories of the past. The steely reality of the present. And a hopeful dream of the future. I am an optimist. A thinker. A watcher. And a doer.
I am only a farmer. I live in a complex world. Made of simple things. And they are my source of joy. And hope. And comfort. I have walked the morning fogs. I have paused for the Summer song of the meadowlark. And I have savored the breeze off freshly cut hay. I have paused, remembering, by the stream I knew as a boy. I have felt the power of a thousand storms. And rejoiced in the fresh world left in their wake.
I am only a farmer. I am an accountant. Chemist. And doctor. I am midwife.And mechanic. I am seller. Trader. And buyer. I am husband. Helper. And partner to my wife. I am father. Friend. Comforter. And teacher to my children.
I am only a farmer. Not a man of riches. But a man of great wealth. I have learned to treasure life. And all things living. To respect their maker. And my own. I am humbled by the earth's bounty. And awed by endless rebirth. I am facinated by the marvelous intricacies of my world. And enriched by their beauty.
I am only a farmer. If a man can be truly free, then I truly am. The day. The week. The month. They have been entrusted to me. They are mine to spend. They are mine to invest. They are mine to use wisely. It is a solitary profession I have chosen. Or,perhaps, that I have been chosen for. A profession where there are no certainties. Where no guarantees are granted. No promises granted. No promises given. No excuses taken. I have but one man to answer to. One man to depend upon. One man to confide in. And in the quiet of the years,I have come to know him well.
I am only a farmer. In perserverance and creativity. And courage.
I am only a farmer. I am confidence. And ingenuity. And intelligence.
I am only a farmer. A seeker of excellence...And I will endure.