There is a quote by one of my favorite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald, in his novel, “The Great Gatsby” that says “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” Oh, how I love this quote.
Fall brings about the anticipation of the beautiful colors of the fall leaves, the apples, pumpkins and gourds come to fruition, and harvest begins. It is a time of beauty and joy in the changing of the season. There is also an inherent sadness about this time of year. The days grow shorter, the wind gets colder, snow harkens, those beautiful leaves give off the last remnants of color before their death, apples are the last product before tree hibernation and the pumpkins and gourds are some of the last vegetables from the garden.
I will not lie. When I left here to head to Penn State as a wide-eyed freshman I was not too sure what my future would hold. I am a planner at heart, but I am also willing to go with the flow. I guess you might call it a type of semi-planned gypsy.
I had lots of determination, guts, a smart mouth, sharp mind and I knew I wanted to make myself, my parents and my community proud. Fast forward 16 years and I made it back to the place where it all started. In my heart, I am still a semi-planning gypsy; I have a plan, but it is always subject to change. I also have a better idea who I am and who I want to be now that I have experienced so much. In a way, the things I learned on my grandparents’ farm and from my grandparents created the person I am today.
Therefore, as the wind harkens the arrival of fall and you settle in with your apple cider to dream of pumpkin pie, I give you my Top 10 Reasons you might be a farmer.
You might be a farmer if:
1. You are stubborn. Right or wrong, good or bad, you hold your ground like barbed wire to jeans.
2. You can talk to anyone, at any time, about anything. Pretty sure this one is self-explanatory.
3. You get waved at by random people while working out in your field. This can also be followed by random honks of car horns. (This fits with point 2.)
4. Most of the clothes you own have grease, tears or other random stains and a story to go with just about each mark.
5. You spend a large chunk of spring and fall alone in your tractor cab.
6. Your truck or car contains every tool known to mankind as well as duct tape and zip ties. No, it’s not because you’re kidnapping people; duct tape and zip ties can fix anything, anywhere.
7. You have no problem eating food one-handed while steering or fixing something and driving in a straight line. You have honed this craft since you could reach the pedals.
8. You can recognize another kindred soul from a mile away. With this, you will also find them, talk to them and make friends in less than a minute.
9. You are obsessed with weather. This one has been covered multiple times.
The last reason you might be a farmer is simply the best…
10. You would not trade any of it for the world and you could not imagine your life any other way.
Now, for people who do not understand these reasons, it may appear that farmers are a weird bunch. Heck, we probably are to most people. Also, not going to lie, some of these traits that I have acquired make it a bit difficult to live and work around people who are not farmers, especially my deep-seated acquisition of trait No. 1.
I would lie and say I am working on trying to fix it, but who I am kidding, the real answer is I am not and never will be. Being a farm kid has gotten me through some of the roughest moments of my life and led to some of the best moments of my life. I would not change a thing, even in the busiest season of change.
Submitted by Christen Clemson, a member of Trumbull County Farm Bureau, who completed her doctorate at the Pennsylvania State University. She and her family run a farm in Mecca.
OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.