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The hands that feed you PDF Print E-mail

It has been cold, rainy, snowy, windy—and spring seemed like it was a world away last week. But now things are looking up. 

Springtime means growth, color, warmth and beauty. 

Spring smells like dirt—my second favorite smell behind that of puppy breath. 

I love the smell of dirt! It must come from being a farmer’s daughter. I can close my eyes, think of Dad turning over a field for the first time, and actually smell the damp, dark, heavy earth. The smell of dirt takes me to my childhood, makes me think of God, and that leads to looking at the sky, and then that leads to thinking about all of the nature surrounding us. 

Spring, nature, dirt—it all points to what our area farmers will be doing in a very short time. 

Next week is National Agriculture Week—what better time to inhale and think about the dirt, the earth, the sky and the growth that surrounds us this time of year. 

Everything is going to be coming alive. The birds are already happy as can be, the sleepy buds and bulbs are going to be poking their heads out, and the ground will eventually be crawling with new birth of the planet’s pests. 

I may be getting the cart ahead of the horse a little here, because it’s still March, we still have the potential for snow and more cold, not to mention the bitter winds that come with the month—but spring work is going to start soon. When it does, the farmers will be scurrying around, antsy to rev up the machinery and get in the field. 

It’s too bad everyone doesn’t stop and think about the significance of spring in the farming communities of our nation’s heartland. People take for granted each and every trip to the grocery store to supply their needs with breads, cereals, meat, milk. 

I wonder if it ever crosses their minds that items on the shelf, in the produce bin, in the cooler, or in the freezer don’t just magically appear day after day, week after week, year after year. 

It comes from our nation’s farmers. It comes from their toil, their troubles, and their commitment to their livelihood. 

Failure is not an option. Disappointment is a given. Hard times are a surety. But they suck it up, look to the skies, plant another crop, say another prayer, pull up their bootstraps and look forward to the next season. And we will be fed.

Next week, step outside and take a deep breath. Look at the sky, kick a clod of dirt, and say thanks that you eat well—because rough hands, tough souls, and devoted spirits will see to it.

Remember to thank a farmer!  

Jan Rahn