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.