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About defining a farmer.......
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Cindi    Posted 02-22-2003 at 11:53:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
I got it! Two, count 'em TWO classes of farmers. Kind of like the bible, with the old testament and the new testament.


Your grandfathered in type who lives a hard scrabble life trying to put food on the table and keep the insects and weather (and crop circlers *smile*)from starving them to death. The kind who can identify a tractor on sight, knows what kind of bug is eating his corn at a glance, can tell you by looking at the sky if'n it's gonna rain, and has a special pocket in his overalls to hold just about anything he needs. He knows off the top of his head what crop prices are because he checks all the time because it may mean the difference between a thin or a fat winter, and he's as well known at the local diner as he is at his own kitchen table.


Hasn't been on a farm all his life and has other sources of income, but takes great pride in everything he grows, raises, sells, butchers and of every morsel of food he has worked to put on the table, especially that which he grew with his own two hands. Has pretty extensive knowledge of tractors OR growing vegetables OR raising hogs OR cattle but rarely has knowledge in all those areas. Can find humor, irony, and or sadness in many things that happen around the farm as each event may be an entirley new experience. Isn't as well known at the local diner but it aint for want of trying as he's as freindly and open as he can be. Is willing to sacrifice just about everything to buy that piece of land and move reluctant kids and a dubious wife onto it because it feels like the right thing to do and just to prove that it will all be worth it end the end.

Those are some pretty general descriptions but it's the best I could do.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm an NG.

Ron/PA    Posted 02-22-2003 at 15:50:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Define a farmer,,, Hmmmmmm,,,
Alot of time has been spent here in the last few days, debating a who is and isn't a farmer.
I have to wonder who could ever define this strange critter.
Grandfathered in? Yep that's me, and my whole family, but we hardly constitute farmers in the monetary sense, we all work jobs off the farm. Moved to the farm, yep a neighbor moved from long Island and works his greenhouses all day every day!
DOES IT MATTER? I guess it does to some folks, but I'm not sure why!
A lifelong friend of our family is a huge dairy farmer in Ohio, Dairy farmer of the year several years running, when we get together, there is so little agricultural talk that you would never know that there was a bale of hay between us, however when the midwest was in a severe drought, we sent 2 trailer loads of hay to them without his asking. When we had a bad year he sent a trailer load of corn to our feed mill to credit our feed supply.
Having said that, I have met a couple of New Englanders, on this site that seem to farm Maple trees for a main crop, Having never met Salmoneye, or Les, I have gotten more information from them and never heard one complaint, about my questions, nor have they made one rude or derogatory remark about my lack of knowledge.
I don't know how to define a farmer to suit the educated world, I do know how I define a farmer in my neighborhood, I would do it this way,
The neighbor that stole my corn picker and returned it 2 days later, with all the elevator flights repaired.
The neighbor that found out that my baler was broken and just parked his in my yard (hooked to my tractor) while I was at work.
The new guy in the valley that knew that I was away for a funeral, and raked and baled, and mowed my hay before I got home.
I know that this is not a definition that you are looking for, but I just don't know how to define a farmer by acreage, income, hard work, or attitude.
I hope someday you meet the "TRUE" farmers in your area, they will be the greatest treasure you will ever hold short of your family.
Sorry for butting in

Old Sarge    Posted 02-22-2003 at 17:08:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Your post made me think of a little plaque Miz Sarge has hanging in her kitchen. It sez

"A good neighbor and friend is a found treasure".

From my Father-    Posted 02-22-2003 at 18:53:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
heard it a lot on our way home from lending a hand...

"A friend in need is a friend indeed."

Mike D.

Ludwig    Posted 02-22-2003 at 17:06:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds good to me Ron, I try to live up to that when I can.
I have a friend who lets me keep my snowmobiles at his house. One time I thought I'd be a pal and mow the lawn for him. Well wouldn't you know his lawnmower broke on me so I spend a good chunk of the summer rebuilding the mowing deck on the thing so he could cut the grass. Felt bad that it took so long but parts were hard to get. Ended up doing a full tuneup on the machine, evicting a million mice, replacing the key that held the rear wheels on, rebuilding the transmission, replacing drive and mower belts and sanding and repainting one wheel so the tire would hold air good.
Its still just a junky old lawn chief mower, but it sure cuts now!

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