“Man – despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication, and many accomplishments – owes his existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.”
I admire people who seem to come out of their Mother’s womb knowing what they want to do with their life. Then they set about to make it happen. They become a nurse, guitar player, plumber or baker – whatever the case may be. It didn’t happen for me that way but in the early 1960s I managed to scratch one possibility off the list.
After two Summers of bailing hay for a dollar twenty-five an hour and vacation on the farm belonging to Aunt Mary and Uncle Ralph, I was more than certain my future vocation would not include sitting behind the steering wheel of a tractor. My father grew up on a farm but for whatever reason, I did not inherit the backbone for plowing the fields, gathering the eggs and milking the cows.
I’m afraid my interest in farming is limited to watching reruns of the television comedy Green Acres.
However, the folks who work in agriculture have my highest respect and gratitude. I am a big fan of food! Eating well and eating often is always at the top of my “To Do” list. And there is plenty of wisdom to be gleaned from the barnyard – virtues like optimism.
Two farmers were talking early one morning.
“How did you do in the storm last night?”
“The good news is I lost my hen house and all my chickens.”
“How can that be good news?”
“Before the wind quit blowing, I had three new cows and a pick up truck.”
“The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.”
Will Rogers, humorist
“I don’t like looking back. I’m always constantly looking forward.
I’m not one to sort of sit and cry over spilt milk. I’m too busy looking for the next cow.”
Gordon Ramsay, chef and food critic
“Like sheep that get lost nibbling away at the grass because they never look up,
we often focus so much on ourselves and our problems that we get lost.”
Allen Klein, author
“Never try to teach a pig to sing.
You waste your time and you annoy the pig.”
Robert A. Heinlein, author
“No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses.”
Herman Melville, author
“This morning do something different: when you wake up in the morning,
wake your forgotten and forsaken dreams as well,
wake them up like an insisting rooster.”
Mehmet Murat Ildan, author
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of their soul remains unawakened.”
Anatole France, poet
“I dream of a better tomorrow where chickens can cross the road
without having their motives questioned.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Essayist
* * *
“When tillage begins, other arts follow.
The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.”
Daniel Webster, statesman
“Know farmers, Know Food
No farmers, No Food.”