Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why do we farm?

We get asked this questions sometimes.  Why farm?  or Why would you farm?  Farming requires so much dedication!  Do you really want to take care of all those animals?  Wouldn't there be easier ways to make a living?  We just give a smile in response!  Most people don't understand why we would choose to be committed to all the "hard work" that comes with our farm.  Even our friends that farm in a conventional way (grain/hog) think we are crazy!  We're the "old fashioned" farmers who work like "dogs" and use "outdated techniques and management styles".  Were really OK with all the critisism and being considered weird.

Let me tell you a few things that these weird folks get to enjoy while farming the "old fashioned" way.

  1. NO DEBT!  This is a huge issue in conventional ag.  A conventional farmer generally does not become debt free on his farm until he retires and has his farm sale.  Like when he is "OLD"!  YUCK! we came from conventional farming families and started down that road ourselves and said "You have got to be kidding; I have to be in debt to make this farming thing work "!  We had farming debt when we were "big modern day farmers" and we hated it.  Monica and I decided that if we were going to farm again ever, we would NOT do it with debt.  How freeing it has been.  Sure we have had to grow slowly, but that's been good also.  It has allowed us to really focus on what we want to do and to try to be good at it.  It also has given us the opportunity to have more liberty in our management style.  See, most lenders are a little freeked out by those "organic/natural/old fashioned/......farmers.  Yes, we will continue to grow if the Lord wills, but by His grace we are determined to do it without being a servant to Mr. loan officer.
  2. SATISFACTION!  Yes, good old Satisfaction.  The blessing of being able to say that we are farming in the best possible way for ourselves and for future generations.  There is something satisfying about trying to manage what you have in a way that is sustainable, healthy, and leaving things better than the way you found them.  Yes, I can sleep good at night knowing that our farm may be weird, but it is not raping the soil, abusing the livestock or corrupting human food for other people to suffer from.  I will take my SATISFACTION any day!
  3. FLEXIBILITY!  Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!  Flexibility is important to our family.  We enjoy the ability to adjust our schedules or plans at times.  This allows us to stop and watch the sun rise or set, stand at the fence and just watch the animals do what they love to do, or take an afternoon and go fishing.  I work in the construction field at times and find it soooo demanding.  I love to help people with their building problems but always look forward to getting back to the farm.  Having the flexibility that comes with our operation also allows us to stop and enjoy life, our family and all of God's wonderful creation.

I like the way the late Paul Harvey said it........

There are other reason that we Love our life on the farm.  Maybe we will share them with you here, but for now we need to go.  Remember wherever you may find yourself on this journey of life that God is good all the time.

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