Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

[friday]

May 16, 2014

Lessons learned from a farmer

I picked up Saturday’s Kokomo Tribune a few days late and carefully read my co-worker’s story “Looking for rain.”

I immediately started jotting down mental notes for myself.

They looked something like this: “Most of corn planted. Farmers say soil drying up quite nicely (Unlike other places). Need rain now.”

Seems like a strange thing to do, I realize.

But I know, inevitably, my dad, a grain farmer in Southern Indiana, will quiz me to find out what I know.

“How do the fields look up there?” he’ll ask me.

I know this as surely as I know that he’ll ask me about the river levels after a big rain.

I’m chuckling even as I write this. It’s made me think about all the quirks I picked up on and lessons I learned growing up as a farmer’s daughter.

I learned to carve out about two hours for church. Mass will only last an hour, but you might be standing outside the church doors for another hour while Dad talks shop with all his farmer friends.

I learned to sometimes be his eyes while he drives because his are probably glancing over at the fields to see how they look. I learned, too, that I better be checking out the fields during my road trips because he’ll remember to ask me about them.

I learned that he and other local farmers are godsends to the neighbors during the sometimes brutal winter months when snow falls and the road drifts shut.

The county road crews likely won’t be there for days, but my dad will get out on his tractor and clear off what he can, including people’s driveways sometimes. He’ll drive up and down the road for hours, and when the wind blows it shut once more, he’ll do it all over again.

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