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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why I love to farm

I think I’ve been a bit on edge lately. Seem to perhaps have become a bit negative.

The latest round of negativity may have started with the NewAgTalk discussion of why we farm.

It was wonderful.

Everyone farms because they love it. No one posted that they farm because, they don’t know what else to do, they were born on the farm and partied so hard in college they couldn’t do anything else, or one summer they came back home to help out and somehow just never left even though it has been 20 years (me).

My favorites are those who make statements about the lifestyle choice.

I tell myself I farm because I love the lifestyle, the beauty of God’s creation, the wonderful people I meet, and the freedom to be my own boss.

Translation: I work my arse off in the heat and dust all summer so I can work on antique broken farm equipment in the winter and freeze my arse off.

The plus side of this is that I have ended up with a small arse. This would be better were I female.

Then there are the folks who make the statement along the lines of, “I came to enjoy farming more when I treated it like a business instead of a lifestyle.”

Translation: I got tired of being screwed by all the other farmers and I decided to screw them harder then they screwed me…

I farm because that is what I do. Sometimes I really enjoy it. Sometimes I am just angry. I guess I’d do something else if I could figure out what else to do.. Somehow I think that I’m going to end up in a Marx farm set from 1968. Have a tidy old barn, a few cows, chickens, one small tractor-a Moline 335 or perhaps a 670 super, my wife will tend a little garden, we will have a fruit room full of canned vegetables and peaches, several wooden crates of potatoes, and the house will smell faintly of honey comb.

Sometime I am going to realize that ain’t going to happen. I have not the self discipline nor the motivation for subsistence farming. I can never afford my own farm. At best I could end up a hired man for a giant farmer. However, I could be what ever I want on NewAgTalk forums-so perhaps there is hope.

I had another round of annoyances with the local farmers.

Fescue straw is worth nothing this year. Last year it was worth 85 dollars a ton in the field. This year I am lucky to get $35. I decided to bale because I am broke. It is just trading dollars for slightly more dollars and really is not worth the trouble but I need $3500 and I can get paid right away for selling my 100 tons of straw.

I have been getting straw from my good friend and cousin. He has some rented ground which he farms in partnership with a local who is kind of a big time operator. They have been friends since childhood I guess. They have a good relationship. The BTO appears to be clueless, “oh I can’t figure out how to run my sprayer, can you show me how? Oh did I screw you in the arse, Oh I didn’t mean for you to think that, I wanted you to think I’m a nice guy. Let me tell you how God has blessed me.”

So BTO screws my cousin and my cousin rationalizes it away. Good basis for friendship.

I call my cousin about the straw. It is a bit of a problem as while I am supposed to be friends with BTO and I have asked for this field a number of times he insists on giving his share to someone else. Last year I paid them $40 a ton stumpage for the straw I got.  Cousin says I can have his share. I tell him I don’t need exactly half, I want a clearly defined field. Doesn’t have to be perfect just needs to be mine. Cousin says ok. (had some problems with this last year.)

That afternoon another neighbor calls me. Very apologetic. BTO offered him the BTO’s share. Neighbor wants to make sure everything is ok with me. Offers to buy any extra straw I may have from that field.

Now that is how it should be done. I almost just gave him the whole field cause I don’t want to bale in the projected 104 degree temps.

BTO is a jerk.

But, of course I will go plant his stupid little triangle fields and listen to him say what a nice guy I am and why he never understands why his neighbors don’t like him. Perhaps we can talk about God together.

Later me can go to #$%^ Promise Keepers and hold hands.

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