Minnesota Farmer


Called

Many people flounder through life wondering what it is that they are doing.  They seem to have no direction as to what they need to do for a vocation.  I know very few farmers that are that way.  It’s as if we were called to till the soil, or care for animals.  It’s just in us to be on the soil.

The calling is there for many, but not all are able to do the job.  I think of the master gardeners, who’s yards are a show place, or the hobby farmer who just is not happy unless they are home tending to their small piece of the earth.  The problem is that many are called, but few are chosen.

Modern farming takes a bit of luck, in either having family involved already, or a large bank account.  It’s one of the things that makes it so hard for young folks to get started in farming.  Oh, you could get started in a small way and work your way into farming, but to make a living at it takes hard work and big bucks.

Every time I look at the prices on new machinery I’m just amazed that anyone can actually pay for the stuff.  I’ve owned only one new piece of machinery in my 37 years of farming.  I’ve had to make do with already used, and thus not the newest technology.

The calling today is to feed an ever-growing world, without  breaking the bank.  That could be the financial bank or the environmental bank.  We’ve made a lot of changes in my lifetime in favor of the environment.  Todays farmer uses less fertilizer, insecticide and herbicide than he did 30 years ago.  We cause less erosion and less pollution, and we are proud of it.

Many are quick to point to agriculture when they see things like ocean dead zones or algae blooms in lakes and rivers.  University tests are now showing that rivers are actually cleaner after they pass through agricultural areas. We have definitely cleaned up our act.  It’s part of our calling.  A calling to care.

If you are part of today’s agriculture I know you are proud of this calling too.  It’s only ours for today.  Tomorrow it will be for our children, and we want to leave it better than we found it.  That too is our calling.

Michael

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