Baling hay

The most stoic of men – Growing Our Generation blog

by Doug Toops for his issue of Growing Our Generation

Stoic: a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.

When I read or hear this word, I think of one man who I greatly admire. His 217th birthday is in February and he devoted his early life to the idea of liberty and freedom, where he spent many days in the freezing cold and searing heat among his troops who also believed freedom was worth fighting for. After his time in the service, he retreated to his version of paradise on his Mt Vernon estate and spent the remainder of his days advocating for agriculture and researching. He believed that it was the responsibility of wealthy farmers to undertake experimentation, as failures would be inevitable and losses would have to be absorbed while new techniques were perfected.

He went on to say: “It will not be doubted, that with reference either to individual, or national welfare, agriculture is of primary importance. In proportion as nations advance in population, and other circumstances of maturity, this truth becomes more apparent; and renders the cultivation of the soil more and more, an object of public patronage.”

Of course, I am speaking of George Washington. I think it is important to know our history, and I am inspired by the president’s passion for agriculture. He spent his entire life, through various endeavors, practicing stoicism. I think stoicism plays an important role in agriculture, for almost every day can be a hardship and as farmers we soon realize there is no gain for complaining.

George Washington shared a love for the advancement of agriculture and care for our farmland with today’s farmers. As we push through the tough days throughout the year, remember we are laying the groundwork for future generations and being stoic is key quality to pass along.


This blog is part of Toops’s turn as featured editor of the Growing Our Generation eletter. Read his full e-newsletter or browse the archive of past issues.


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