For the love of family
By Holly Martin
I really love my kids.
Case in point: It was over 100 degrees and I had been at the 3i Show for a better part of two days. I had walked the grounds and worked the booth, all while doing a whole lot of sweating. But the boys wanted to go back to the show one afternoon—in the sweltering heat. And I took them. I didn’t even complain, or at least not too loudly.
For some farm kids, a farm show is like Christmas morning—only 100 degrees warmer in a parking lot with millions of dollars of equipment.
Let’s just say I was not one of those kids. I loved a lot of things about my life growing up on a farm—although much of that I’ve only come to appreciate now that I’m an adult. I liked being able to raise animals for my 4-H projects. I liked living in the country. I liked helping my mom make meals to take to the field during harvest. I liked riding along in the combine. Milking cows and driving a silage truck? Not so much.
But some kids—my brother was one of them—eat, live, sleep thinking of the farm. And I saw many of those kids at the 3i Show last week.
It does my heart good to see little boys and girls tagging along with their dads, grandpas and uncles looking up at an auger that seems to stretch to the top of the sky. I love seeing a boy in boots racing up the ladder of the biggest combine on the lot, so he can see all the “new” toys in the cab. Something is just right about a dad leaned over patiently explaining how a particular piece of equipment works.
One of the biggest benefits of farming and ranching is that it is a family business. Generations work together, sharing their knowledge. Experiences are passed down, building upon each other so that a lifetime of work lives on. It means that it is bigger than just a business. And yes, it is a business and has to be treated as such. But when a father teaches his son the skills that will support him his life through, it becomes more than just a profession.
And as a family business, there’s bound to be rough spots. But it is those same ties that mean the business and livelihood is worth working for. Passing on the love of agriculture to the next generation is part of a farmer and rancher’s legacy—even if it means sweating in the sun for a few more hours at a farm show.
Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171 ext. 1806, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.