There is more to farming than what meets the consumer’s eye. Anyone can see the visible actions of farmers: tractors in the fields, combines harvesting crops and cows being milked, but there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes on a farm to make those things happen.
Most farmers that I know find those visible actions to be the fun and most enjoyable parts of farming. It is the details and decisions that happened behind the scenes that aren’t always so fun but make the whole operation work.
Consumers don’t see the sleepless nights farmers spend crunching numbers trying to make the balance sheet work, finding some way to pay Peter without robbing Paul. They don’t see the studying for certification tests or the paper trail left behind after tax season. Just as soon as one crop is planted, next year’s is already being researched and planned through test plots, soil tests and consultations with agronomists.
Other moments likely unnoticed by those who don’t farm include slow seasons spent repairing machinery and buildings during times when farmers are just getting by or the victory of a successful season followed by the purchase of a hard-earned and necessary piece of new equipment.
All told, farming is worth every bit of hard work and effort. The sight of a combine harvesting our blood, sweat and tears, and the satisfaction of a barn full of hay are often all a farmer needs to forget the tough moments and continue to the next season.