My great-grandfather William Coutts (left) and my grandfather Gordon Coutts on their family farm in Tilbury East in 1924.
“So God Made a Farmer” was the name of a speech given by the radio broadcaster Paul Harvey at a 1978 Future Farmers of America convention. The speech is taken from a 1975 article written by Harvey, which was originally taken from a letter to the editor to a daily newspaper in Washington state. The speech is an extension of the Genesis creation narrative referring to God’s actions on an imagined eighth day of creation. This is a great rendition of what our farmers are all about.
“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 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!
“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!
“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, pain’n from ‘tractor back’, put in 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 on 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, heave bales 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!
“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 days 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!
Thought for the week – With God’s strength behind you and His arms beneath you, you can face whatever lies ahead of you.
Just some food for thought.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our community’s agriculture 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’