Feb. 4, 2013
“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 to get up before dawn and milk cows and 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 strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back real soon…and mean it. So, God made a farmer!
God said “I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And…who, at 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 on 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, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets…and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer!
It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight…and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed…and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self feeder and then finish a hard days work with a five-mile drive to church. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who’d laugh and then sigh…and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life “doing what dad does”. So, God made a farmer!”
- Paul Harvey, Delivered to the National FFA Convention in 1978
My husband, Derek, bottle feeds a baby calf who was born with a broken leg and now walks with a cast. With the time and devotion of my husband to set the leg, this calf would have not likely made it.
The commercial had not yet concluded and my Facebook and Twitter news feeds were exploding with comments, likes, posts and reTweets about Ram Truck’s “God Made A Farmer” commercial that aired during the second half of the Sunday’s Super Bowl, putting into pictures Paul Harvey’s infamous speech, illustrating the life and dedication of an American farmer.
It was a powerful commercial that spoke to not only me, as a farmwife, but to friends and family my husband and I were enjoying the game with and, by all reports, to Americans across the country.
In this speech, Harvey delivers a powerful message of the dedication, persistence and devotion a farmer puts into every aspect of his work and every day of his life. For me, this commercial could not ring more true as my husband returns home from the calving barn, ready to squeeze in a few hours of sleep as the sun begins to rise – a routine that has become common-place at our home.
Calving seasons began in early January in our farm and will through March. The heifers – those that are delivering their first calf this year – calve first followed by the experienced mother cows. All the animals require a little extra time and attention during the winter calving season but our heifers are especially vulnerable to the elements and struggles of birth.
Out of care for their families, devotion to their animals and love of their work, my husband and his father put aside football games, Sunday afternoon naps and a normal routine to care for their mother cows and baby calves. A few weeks ago, my husband spent nearly five hours at the calving barn, helping a heifer deliver twin calves, only to find one with a broken leg. At 2 a.m., knowing he had to play caretaker and doctor, he made a trip to our local Wal-Mart, purchased supplies to meddle a rough cast and set the leg so the calf could begin the healing process. Today, the calf is happy and healthy, we continue to bottle feed him and watch him grow and discover his newfound walking ability. Other times, my husband’s duties are as simple a bringing a mother and her new calf into the barn, out of the cold, and watching to make sure the mother cleans and warmer her new calf. We can’t save every calf, but my husband and his father put every once of devotion and love into ensuring mothers and babies are safe and healthy.
It’s experiences like those that epitomize a farmer and bring to life the words Paul Harvey spoke to FFA students in 1978. It’s a powerful message that for years has been lost and forgotten but thanks to Ram Trucks, the agriculture world has a new rally cry, a new anthem and a new message to carry to the outside world. God made a farmer and farmers make our lives possible.