Today at work, I found myself talking to a farmer from a southern Illinois town called Hamilton. I liked him right off the bat. He was one of those old school farmers who could have made it as a drill sergeant in the Army, but made the decision to make sure there was food on America’s table instead. As we talked, he told me about how he’d been farming his whole life, his father, still raising cattle at 91 years old, had farmed his whole life, and how his grandparents farmed their whole lives, as well. What struck me was the pride the old guy had. He would go on and on about his little town, his family, and what it all meant to him.
After listening to the farmer for a while I asked him about his two sons. Though he was noticeably proud of what his boys have accomplished in their lives, he couldn’t help but to admit that he would give up everything for them to be working on the farm with him again. The end of a great era.
Being a farmer isn’t glamorous. It won’t buy you a Porsche or a yacht. Being a farmer isn’t something that you can do sitting at a desk. Being a farmer is hard work. It callouses hands and teaches you grit. Kids aren’t taught about agriculture in school. For many, it’s something they might see in a movie or on TV. Though there’s growth in the small farm industry, there’s still a noticeable decline in American farmers.