I have the utmost respect for farmers…yes dad it is true. Honestly they are the true jack of all trades…only a farmer will take a piece of equipment that costs more than their yearly salary, completely disassemble it, modify it, reassemble it, and then claim that they don’t really know what they are doing. My current favorite country music song I think does a great job of capturing part of the life of a farmer so I figured I would post an entry explaining the lyrics. The song is “Amarillo Sky” by Jason Aldean, and I hope that this will give everyone a little more appreciation for the farmers of America.
He gets up before the dawn
Packs a lunch and a thermos full of coffee
It's another day in the dusty haze
Those burnin' rays are wearing down his body
I’m so thankful to have been raised on a farm because hard work isn’t something you avoid…it is simply something you do. No one will ever yell at a farmer for being to work late, but farmers are typically working earlier than anyone else. I remember when I was 6 years old our whole family would get up at the crack of dawn so we could hoe in the fields before the sun got too hot. That work ethic has paid off in everything I’ve done, and will always give me an edge. I actually was talking to my father a couple months ago and was telling him how I have to work 12 to 17 hours per day, and his response was “that’s good…isn’t it.” That is such a refreshing response compared to the typical “man that must really sucks.” I really should just be thankful that I have a job and that each day there is something that I can do that is productive.
And diesel's worth the price of gold
And it's the cheapest grain he's ever sold
But he's still holding on
These are my favorite couple lines…it really portrays the reality that every farmer has to face. Everyone in the United States knows the price of gas just keeps climbing just like all costs. So for a farmer the price of diesel to run the equipment climbs as well as other costs, but the price of grain doesn’t move much and can actually drop. In fact the cost of a bushel of corn in 1980 was about $3, and today in Pigeon a bushel of corn sells at about $2.
He just takes the tractor another round
And pulls the plow across the ground
And sends up another prayer
He says Lord I never complain I never ask why
But please don't let my dreams run dry
Underneath, Underneath this Amarillo sky
First of all if anyone doesn’t know a round is driving from one end of the field to the other and back…farmers do this many, many times. In fact my dad often decides if the day is over by whether or not he can get another round in before sunset. The rest of the chorus brings up something that ever farmer must have…faith. As my father says, “there is no such thing as an atheist farmer.” You take everything you have to purchase these dead little seeds, put them in the soil, and pray that God brings life to that dead seed and multiplies it. Farmers work hard but are always aware of the fact that their success or failure is really out of their hands (don’t get me wrong…there is a lot of knowledge required to be a good farmer).
That hail storm back in '83
Sure did take a toll on his family
But he stayed strong and carried on
Just like his dad and grandad did before him
On his knees every night he prays
Please let my crops and children grow
Cause that's all he's ever known
To most people a hail storm is a bad thing and they worry about a couple dings in their car, but to a farmer it can completely destroy their livelihood. If the crops have sprouted then a heavy hailstorm will just destroy them, and that is basically the form that all their money is currently invested in. This is obviously a problem that we are completely unable to avoid…as a fluid mechanic I can assure everyone that at least as long as I’m alive we won’t even be able to predict the weather accurately more than 5 days in advance let alone develop methods to avoid severe weather (at least on a large scale). The only thing anyone can do to avoid this is prayer.