Now that it is fall it means combines and tractors are plaguing the fields with thousands of hardworking men and women putting in overtime so millions of mouths can be fed. I’ve grown up in the farming industry since day one -- my mom literally had to wait for my dad to finish planting after her water broke with me – so, I have the utmost respect for the farmers in the fields, the employees at the elevator, and the families putting their lives on hold for this season.
Harvest is the time when so many men and women begin to call their combines, tractors, and semis home. They give up an eight hour night in bed to being able to take a nap here and there to make sure the crops go from the field to the bin smoothly. They put up with rain days, broken parts, long lines at the elevator, and not seeing their family constantly. These are the people eating supper at midnight and drinking their first cup of coffee at 4 AM to make sure all the work gets done. They are missing football games and dance recitals or weddings and nights out on the town to work, because this is the season that their livelihood depends upon. Everyone should respect the farmers spending countless hours in the field away from their families so everyone else can eat a meal with theirs.
Since I was eight years old my dad worked at the grain elevator and during fall it was a guessing game of when we would see him next. Hours were no longer 7 AM – 4 PM, instead they were when the farmers needed to haul in, which is pretty much 24/7. Nobody was making it to bed by 10 unless it was pouring down rain outside because set schedules do not exist during harvest. Farmers were in the field until that field was done, whether that be 8 PM or 3 AM, then got their few hours of sleep and headed back to the field. Since my dad was not the one in the field, he did not get to make his own schedule because it depended on the day and on when the farmers could get into the fields. Sometimes it meant my dad would sleep at work because it was the only time he could fit two hours of sleep into his schedule. I respect everyone who works at the grain elevators and putting in overtime for the entire harvest season.
To those who date or marry a farmer, one of the first rules is learning to love them during harvest and planting season. Right now, I currently have a boyfriend that just started in the fields. I don’t know the next time I’ll get to see him or hang out with him because his time is revolving around school and farming. I get to talk to him on the phone on his way home late at night or maybe get a quick text from him when he has a break because it is harvest time. When I do get to see him it might mean that I’m riding buddy seat in the tractor, but I’m okay with that because that is an enjoyable date to me. This is not the season to try and make plans with him and I’m perfectly okay with that because I know he and thousands of others are dedicating their time to feeding others.
All I can say is I’m thankful for those who give up all their time for an entire season.