Tuesday, February 5, 2013

God Made a Farmer

I'm a little late to the party. (It's not surprising, since I'm not much of a party goer.) Yesterday, the agricultural blog world and Facebook were all "a Twitter" about the Dodge Ram commercial that aired during the Super Bowl and featured Paul Harvey's "God Made a Farmer."

When I asked Brent about the success of the Super Bowl party he hosted, he countered with, "Did Dad love the farmer commercial?"

Yes, Dad and Mom both loved the "farmer" commercial, along with most of farm country. I had heard Paul Harvey's essay before, but it again brought tears to my eyes. And as the beautiful photos transitioned - one to the other - other photos kept drifting through my mind.

They were the personal photos that tell the story of us - one Kansas farm family. That's one of the reasons I started this blog in 2010. It was to tell our story and not let HSUS or Greenpeace or PETA tell the world what modern farming is all about.

My brother is farming ground our maternal grandfather - Shelby Neelly - farmed. It is land that was first owned by our great-great grandparents on my mom's side of the family. On the Moore side of the family, my nephew Brian is the sixth generation to run a combine on ground that's been cultivated by Moores practically since the area was settled.

My husband is a fourth-generation farmer on both sides of his family. They are the reason that we have been farming for more than 100 years in Stafford County.

This is our life. This is our livelihood. This is our legacy. This is our love.

If you didn't see the commercial, please take time to watch it. (I have the link at the end of this post.) Besides the quality of the artwork and the stories each of those beautiful photos represents, viewing the commercial raises money for the FFA. A special Dodge Ram website, appropriately labeled, "Keep Plowing," says that the company will donate up to $1 million to the National FFA organization, depending upon the number of views the commercial gets on You Tube. The campaign is co-sponsored by Case IH and Farms.com, with support by Stihl, Bosch and Mossy Oak.

I could paper the house with photos - past and present - that tell the story of this Kansas farm family. These don't even scratch the surface. But I try to do it every day through my blog - whether I'm talking about farming, my family, my faith, what I'm serving on my country table or random thoughts from a busy Kansas farm wife.

Paul Harvey's, "God Made a Farmer" 
with photos from Kim's County Line
And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.

God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.
 "I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf ...

 and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild.
Somebody to call hogs ...
tame cantankerous machinery ...
come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.'
I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadowlark.

It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.

Randy & his Dad at Melvin's last harvest; Jill & Randy, bottom left; Brent's first harvest at the bottom right.
Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.' "

My nephew Brian, brother Kent and Dad Bob. Brian is the 6th generation to work on the farm.
So God made a farmer.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! It was hard to choose just a few.

  2. People in DC talk of how they were drawn here because they want to make the world a better place but I often feel that the world would be a better place if everyone could be as fortunate as I was to grow up on a farm. I, too, am very glad that God made a farmer. I was so proud to be a farmer's daughter in that moment. Thanks, Kim! Please keep telling the story of your Kansas farm family! Your photos rivaled the ones the Dodge company used. I loved seeing Jill "call the hogs," the Moore men "spending their lives doing what Dad does," and the one of Melvin's last harvest.

    1. Thanks Cindy! It is always fun to go back and look at Jill's and Brent's childhood photos. Good memories all around.