Farming is no easy task,

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 12, 1999

as my corn stalk proves


The winners for Farm/City Week have been chosen and I didn’t win anything. I waited for Jaine Treadwell to turn around in her chair at the office and say, "Amy, I need to interview you for the Farm City tab." But she didn’t. She just went on her merry way interviewing everyone who actually won.

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Granted, there is no way I could have won, but I did consider myself a farmer this year – a one-corn-stalk farmer. No, a one-pretty-darn-healthy-corn-stalk farmer.

I was out in the yard one day cleaning up the trash the dogs had torn up all over the yard and I found a corn stalk. I don’t know how it got there or why, but I was proud of it.

I came to work the next day and bragged a little about my corn stalk. I checked on it almost everyday and anticipated the harvest and meal that was to come.

Well, it never came.

I went out one day to check on my crop and my dogs had chewed the leaves off of my corn stalk. I figured a crop was still possible, because I didn’t think leaves were necessary for an ear of corn or two. Maybe that was true, but corn stalks do not grow back once they have been mowed down, and that’s exactly what happened.

So my stint as a farmer was short lived, and it’s a good thing because if I depended on myself for food I would starve to death. And that’s why most of us depend on others.

Farm/City Week is designed to show the relationship between the rural community and the city. To me it’s the country folks meet the city folks. It’s sometimes hard to relish that the Jolly Green Giant did not make the corn that is in the can that bears his picture and name or that Mr. Winn Dixie did not make the steaks, hamburger meat or chicken we buy each week in the grocery store. And the truth is a few farmers and their families worked in field or on tractors, milked cows, gathered eggs, slaughtered hogs from daylight until dusk, so our lives would be easier and our bellies would be full.

I can’t say that I know or understand really anything about farming. When I was a child my grandfather had a few chickens and a few cows, but I don’t know if that is really considered a farm. Sometimes we would get in the truck and herd up the cows or something, but I was really too young to remember. When my cousin and I wanted to be farmers and have a purple tractor, it was just a childhood dream that sounded cool.

I think I might like to try my hand at farming, but don’t know if I have the stamina to keep up with the lives they lead. Think of your responsibility of feeding your own family everyday and then think of responsibility farmers have to produce enough food for other people. Its probably not easy for those who have so many people depending on them and sometimes have the forces of nature stacked against them.

Granted technology may have made things a little easier for farmers, but no technology in the world can determine whether its going to be a hot year or a cool year, if there will be floods or a drought, and if some bacteria or insect will take over the crops.

If you want to talk about stress in your job, go talk to a farmer. They are the ones with a million mouths to feed and never know if the will harvest will make ends meet.

It’s got to be a tough job and I admire and respect the heck out of those who do it. And if you don’t, you should. And you should take this opportunity to tell the farmers in Pike County thank you. Whether they win a Farm/City Award or not tell them congratulations and thank them for letting us depend on them.

Amy S. Lansdon is the news editor for The Messenger.