Farming is tough but offers important lessons

I’ve noticed a lot of changes in our society lately. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, or maybe it’s just the heat making me grumpy, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences between those of us who farm and those who don’t.

Life is all about choices, and for us, farming is a passion that becomes a part of us. It’s a privilege to choose this lifestyle, but it also comes with its own set of challenges.

Not too long ago, most families farmed or at least grew their own food. Air conditioning and running water were luxuries that many households didn’t have. We live lives of luxury now — even many of us farmers — but at what cost?

The other night, I was coaching my daughter’s softball game in 89-degree heat. As I swatted bugs and felt sweat rolling down my back, I couldn’t help but think, “I could be doing hay right now.” Farming in the heat is tough, but it’s something we get used to. Watching my 6-year-old daughter hustle across the field to tag a girl at third base despite the heat reminded me of the importance of resilience. She turned to me and said, “Momma, it’s hot,” then went right back to playing ball. In contrast, another girl on the team was struggling with the heat, and her mother laughed it off, saying, “She can not function in any type of heat!”

This made me realize that while the long days and short nights of farming can be tough, they teach valuable lessons. My kids are with us doing chores, working with us, or playing outside during all the extreme temperatures so for them, enduring these hot temperatures is much easier.

One day, I hope that like me and their dad, my children are thankful they were raised this way. Life is hard, but it’s even harder if you don’t learn to push through challenges. I often tell my kids, “You can do hard things.”

As parents, leaders, and mentors, we need to continue to push our children and challenge them. We have to give them opportunities to solve problems and explore the world outside their living rooms. Yes, it’s miserable and dangerous if you’re not careful, but it’s also necessary.

Thank you, farmers, for all you do and sacrifice. Thank you for choosing to farm and feed the world, even when it’s hotter than blazes out there. Let’s continue to embrace the hard things and enjoy the beauty of every season.

Submitted by Mandy Orahood, the organization director at Ohio Farm Bureau Federation for Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Trumbull counties.

 

OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
The plan we are on is great. It’s comparable to my previous job's plan, and we are a sole proprietor.
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Kevin Holy

Geauga County Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
We work terrifically with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, hosting at least one to two outreach town hall events every year to educate new farmers and existing farmers on traditional CAUV and woodlands.
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David Thomas

Ashtabula County Auditor

CAUV: Past, present and future
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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