As I have stated before, I grew up in a moderate sized town, in the middle of town. I didn't know what farming was all about and the time that goes in to it, until I met a farmer. I did know it was a lot of hard work and long hours, but I guess I never experienced it all first hand.
About a month after we got married is when Chris started his busy time of year. Lots of spraying, discing, irrigating, and now harvest. The past month has been a little hard for me. This lifestyle is different for me. I have an ag degree, I dated Chris for 4 years, even though we never lived together, I thought I would have been prepared for his busy season, but let me tell you, it's a little tougher than I thought. During our dating years, it was different for me, but I have almost always had roommates and school friends close by to hang out with when he was busy for weeks on end. I only have one roommate now, and he works a lot. He works h.a.r.d. He has a full time job, and then has to go check on farming stuff in the evening and on the weekends. I usually try to go with him in the evenings so we can spend some time together before we both crash. I'm trying to tell myself that it is just a season. It will end and he won't be as busy...except duck season starts this weekend and he is an avid hunter. so that will consume most weekends until the end of January. We'll see if I go out this year, I haven't made up my mind yet, but I still have a few months to decide.
I got a phone call from a friend today that is a dairy farmer in Minnesota. He is a board member for the National Dairy Producers Organization, which is a non-profit organization that I helped start up when I worked at my previous job. He wanted to update me on the standings of the organization and what their exposure was at the World Dairy Expo a few weeks ago. As a dairy farmer, he works all day long. Early in the morning till well into the night. They are right in the middle of harvest out there as well, and he said that his custom chopper has already put away over 3,000 tons of feed. That's a lot of feed! But that is his lively hood, that's how he keeps his cows alive and his business running. Long hours ARE required. I told him that Chris is closer to the end of harvest than he is to the beginning, and that he has been working long hours as well.
Anyways, my friend made a good point this afternoon. Yes, farmers work extremely long hours. However, there are people eating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It is an honor to be able to feed the world. If it wasn't for farmers in the U.S. the world wouldn't survive. No way, no how. Long hours are required. It's takes A LOT of time and hours to grow food for one person, let alone hundreds of billions.
What he said made me think a little differently about how Chris spends his time. He is growing grapes/raisins to help feed the world. Just think about that for a second. It's not something that only one person can do, all these farmers from across the world come together to feed EVERYONE. Amazing. Think about that the next time you sit down to eat a meal, or a snack, or drink a glass of milk with your chocolate chip cookie. Every. Single. Ingredient, was grown or raised by someone (unless it's some crazy processed junk). There was a lot of work that went into growing and raising the food that you ate for dinner tonight. Puts a whole new perspective on things doesn't it?
So...thank a farmer, they feed the world. It's a HUGE responsibility!