A photograph of loading sugar beets onto a wagon in 1939 From left, a farm worker, Kim Cooper’s grandmother Elizabeth Coutts, his mother Betty Coutts (who later married Jack Cooper) and Kim Cooper’s grandfather Gordon Coutts. Cooper writes that as much as a farmer put in a lot of work during the week, so did his wife, and that situation hasn’t changed. Kim Cooper photo
In keeping with the theme of women in agriculture, here is Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” speech and taking that original article and discussing the many attributes of a farmer’s wife.
And on the 8th day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker!” So, God made a farmer!
But the farmer could not do all the work God had for him so God made a farmer’s wife.
God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So, God made a farmer!
And the farmer’s wife was up early to cook the breakfast, feed and dress the children, wash the clothes, clean the house, prepare for the harvest crew’s dinner, arrange the dentist, doctor, and teacher appointments, make supper, do all the dishes, plant and hoe the garden, can and freeze the produce, mow the lawn, plant and care for the flowerbeds, visit the sick and lonely neighbours and relatives, take food to the hungry and distressed, bake for the school and church bazaars, meet with the teachers, write the correspondence with family, do taxes and grant applications…and when necessary, work beside her husband in the barn, in the fields or running the roads to pick up seed, or equipment for repairs…
I need somebody with strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back real soon… and mean it. So, God made a farmer!
And his wife needs to be strong enough to do all her chores in the house and in the barn and in the field often while caring for young children. She needs to know how to deal with her husband’s moods when he is frustrated and discouraged and she needs to balance her neighbour’s needs with the family needs. She needs to balance her expenses for groceries, children’s clothes, so there is enough money for the newest piece of farm equipment. She needs to welcome her in-laws at all times and feed them, entertain them and care for them when her husband is too busy.
God said: “I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And… who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon. Then, paining from “tractor back”, put in another seventy-two hours. So, God made a farmer!
And God made his wife to make a meal that will nourish her brood and husband for pennies, to sew and mend the clothing to save dollars, to work from dawn until dusk and then sit and knit as the family watches television, to bear the children after working in the barn and house throughout her pregnancy, and be willing to tend to her husband and answer his call whenever.
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 on mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So, God made a farmer!
And God made the farmer’s wife to prepare food for the neighbours in crisis and even take in the neighbours who were burned out. She will share the clothing and housewares with the family to get them started again. She will go to the neighbours and help the farm wife clean up after the fire and get started again. She will listen to the distress of her neighbours and help them find hope again. She will take their children and care for them whenever necessary.
God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets…and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer!
And the farmer’s wife will work beside him and help him see the rainbow after the rain has fallen on the hay laying in the field, and help him bury the beloved dog, and should he become injured or ill, the farm wife will take over the chores with the older children to keep the farm going.
It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight…and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed…and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self-feeder and then finish a hard day’s work with a five-mile drive to church. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who’d laugh and then sigh…and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life “doing what dad does”. So, God made a farmer!
And his wife will be standing proudly beside him happy and thankful that together they have built and cared for their farm, their animals, and their family.
Think about this – To show His love, Jesus died for us. To how our love, we live for Him.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at: www.wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 40 years. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’