Here's To The Farmer

Here's To The Farmer

Thank you for everything you do, I appreciate you.

It's that time of year again. The time of year when you can't get that disgusting smell of the sugar beet factory out of your nose. However, before crinkling your face and complaining about the awful smells coming from inside the factories, think about all of the hard work and dedication the farmers put into their crop so you could have it to eat every single day.

Having the ability to grow up and live on a farm, I have had first hand experience watching my dad and other relatives devote their lives so others could have food on the table to eat. This has given me such a huge appreciation for both the agricultural industry and the tremendous amounts of physical labor and hard work the farmers put into their jobs 365 days a year.

In case you didn't know, farmers do not have the luxury of working a nine to five job; instead, they work from dawn to dusk and sometimes even longer if need be. I can remember days where my dad worked all day and all night just so he could get the crop off in time before the rain came. Speaking of rain, it's a pretty scary thing to have your entire livelihood based off of Mother Nature. Too much rain, crops drown. Too little rain, crops die from drought. It's the same with the temperatures, wind, hail, sleet, and snow; if conditions are bad, crops die. Farming is a very high pressure job, if Mother Nature does not cooperate and the crops die, you lose everything.

Yet, Mother Nature isn't everything, the markets also play a huge role. Everything could go right physically for the farmer; however, if the markets do not cooperate, the farmer goes down swinging once again.

I don't want you to get the impression that the work of a farmer is solely driving in a tractor. In all honesty, the majority of a farmer's life is spent working in the shop preparing the tractors for the upcoming year or fixing them when they break down, which happens pretty frequently because a lot can go wrong rather quickly with a machine so big.

After reading this, you may ask yourself why would someone even consider being a farmer in the first place?

Just know this, farming is one of the most rewarding lifestyles you could possibly have when done right. The unbreakable family bonds, strong religious backgrounds, the love of nature, and the sense of pride you have after completing a job are only a few of the amazing characteristics the life of a farmer has in store. I know there is no other place I would have wanted to be raised than on my family farm, and I pray one day my children can say the same.

So next time, instead of sticking up your nose to the smells the factories make, the dirty roads from the muddy fields the trucks come out of, or the unfortunate events of being stuck behind a tractor in traffic, make sure you thank a farmer and appreciate the efforts they put forth so you can have food on the table to eat.

Lastly, thank you farmers.

Cover Image Credit: Karla Ratajczak

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.


Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.



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