day 6 of farmacology: independence

One of the things you may not know about farm folks is that

we are really independent. Like, REALLY independent.


My dear friend Lynne likes to say, "Don't tell me what to do" and even "You're not the boss of me. 

My dad often reminds his daughters that "Where the pygmies rule, everyone else has to crouch."

My middle sister was once told by an internship supervisor that she had a "healthy disrespect for authority."

If you roll all those sentiments into one, you basically have a farmer.


In an age of blogs and Instagram, pictures make it easy to think farming is calm and easy, that it will help you escape the craziness of everyday life or that you'll constantly be surrounded by tranquility, that the day's toughest decisions will involve whether or not to romp with you goats or eat the asparagus you grew in your garden. 

But that wouldn't be quite right. 

Farming actually requires knowing when to take risk. It means being a good businessmen just as much as it means being a good steward of land and animals. 

It takes knowing what's coming ahead but reminding yourself of what happened to the markets and the crops and the weather in the past. It means reading up on the latest trends. 

If you want to be successful, you have to be aware. 

Or to quote a wise man, "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run."


That's why farmers thrive on their independence. They play by the rules, but that doesn't mean they like being told what to do.

They're the people who have realized that they can achieve as much as they're willing to work for, and they're willing to work for a lot. 

They're particular about doing what's best for their ground and their animals, because when they take care of those two, those two take care of them, and farmers have pretty strong feelings on how best to do that. 

They like the freedom of making their own decisions and calling their own shots. They work best when they're their own boss, and they don't have any problems with saying no. 



Farming requires an innate desire for independence, an ability to make decisions quickly and well, a mind for coming up with sturdy courses of action . . . and fast. 

So when we read quotes like, "Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands" from Thomas Jefferson, we're inclined to agreed. 

And don't try to tell us any differently. 




Want to read more of my 31 day farmacology writing challenge? Click here. 








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