Feb 052013
 
What IS Right With America? Our Farmers

I thought the Dodge Ram Commercial that aired during the Super Bowl entitled “Farmer” was inspirational! You can view the ad on YouTube by clicking here: http://bit.ly/WncP54 It is worth viewing the ad again because Dodge will donate up to one million dollars to support the Future Farmers of America program, as well as contributing to assist in local education and hunger programs, based upon the number of times the video is watched. The commercial included audio by the late Paul Harvey. Harvey first delivered the speech, “So God Made a Farmer” to the Future Farmers of America group in 1978. It’s worth taking a moment to read the text which is included at the end of this post. 

Two of my children who watched the commercial with me, and they were clearly moved by Harvey’s words. I thought, as a person who lives in suburbia, how can I give my children some idea of what is really like to be a farmer. I looked online and found a number of museums dedicated to that task. One, in particular, that I found interesting, was the Farmers’ Museum located in Cooperstown, New York. The museum’s website (www.farmersmuseum.org) states that its mssion is “Cultivating an understanding of the rural heritage that has shaped our land, communities and American culture.” The site has a virtual village that is designed to educate children about how food is grown and makes its way to the family dinner table. The museum has a variety of educational programs for children, as well as both local and distance learning programs for teachers. You can support the museum by visiting:http://www.farmersmuseum.org/donate. Take a moment to read Harvey’s speech, and be thankful for our farmers!

Paul Harvey’s 1978 speech: “So God Made a Farmer.” 

“And on the 8th day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker!”. So, God made a farmer!

God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So, God made a farmer!

I need somebody with strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back real soon…and mean it. So, God made a farmer! 

God said “I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And…who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon. Then, pain’n from “tractor back”, put in another seventy two hours. So, God made a farmer!

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop on mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So, God made a farmer!

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets…and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer!

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight…and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed…and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self feeder and then finish a hard days work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who’d laugh and then sigh…and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life “doing what dad does”. So, God made a farmer!”

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