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A Tribute: So God Made a Farmer

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

Narrated by the late Paul Harvey, this Internet presentation is one that anyone involved with farming will likely identify with.  It is an important message for the non farming audience as well as an appreciation of our farmers. Paul Harvey was “a friendly and familiar voice in the lives of millions of Americans,” according to commentators on his life. He is very familiar to me having spent my childhood summers in the U.S. Every weekday just before noon, his words of wisdom resonated over American radios. And even as a child I often stopped what I was doing to hear what he had to say. I was rarely disappointed.

It is unclear where this tribute first originated, but some believe Mr. Harvey first spoke these words at the 1978 National Future Farmers of America Convention. Thanks to this Made-in-America tribute features Canadian farmers. Some who I know personally, and all of whom I am thankful for.

So God Made a Farmer

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

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

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to wrestle a calf and yet gentle enough to cradle his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait for lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies, then tell the ladies to be sure to come back real soon and mean it.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year,’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse, who can fix a harness with hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, up in another 72 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 in 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 and heave bales, yet gentle enough to help a newborn calf begin to suckle and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower in an instant to avoid the nest of meadowlarks.”

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, brake, disk, plow, plant, strain the milk, replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with an eight mile drive to church. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his family says that they are proud of what Dad does. “So God made a farmer.”

Until the Next Blog


Posted by OFAC on June 27th, 2011 :: Filed under Faces of Farming,Farm life
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