Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hard labor, low pay, constant problems....

Farming... an occupation of low pay, long hours of back breaking work, constant problems to solve, working through holidays and bad weather and sickness. Yes... that is all true and at face value it is easy to see why so many people left the farm for the promise of a better life. But I have to say... after a long day of processing turkeys in the cold with an aching back.... I wouldn't trade this life for anything. The payoff is not in vacations or money. The payoff of farming is much deeper... much more satisfying, much more valuable than the fleeting luxuries of the world.

I took a call the other day from a mom in California. She was desperate yet determined to provide a thanksgiving meal for her daughter. You see... the young girl has developed an actually rather common allergy to soy. Since soy is the primary ingredient in virtually all animal feed, this little girl can not eat common meat. No thanksgiving turkey or ham... ever.  The mom was overjoyed when she found our website advertising soy free turkeys. Finally her daughter can have a traditional thanksgiving meal!

Unfortunately the story doesn't end happy. I had to turn her down due to the legal restrictions on shipping our turkeys out of state.  Nevertheless... there are plenty of local people in the same boat... unable to enjoy meats due to one problem or another in the conventional factory farms.  We have dedicated our farm to helping those people, and the thousands that are soon to follow when realization of the failure of conventional factory farming becomes better known.

You see.. this isn't a job.... this is a life mission.farming is not about making a living... it is about helping people to live. Families depend on our food for life itself... just as there are those that depend on the medical profession for life. Farming is about people, about health, about enabling people to enjoy life.

As I lay here with an aching back from the days activities... there is a smile on my face and more importantly a smile if my heart. Nothing can satisfy more than realizing your efforts have helped someone else, made the world a little better, one meal at a time. That far exceeds any vacation.... any toy.... any sum of money.  It makes life and work worthwhile.

Sometimes I think that the average American focus on wealth is in itself stealing our joy. Wealth should be a potential side effect of our efforts, not the goal. Wealth didn't satisfy the heart.  I know from personal experience ... having livrdin both sides of the fence on this... wealth is not the answer. It is not evil, but it also doesn't make life worthwhile.

I encourage young people to embrace farming... it is an occupation... a mission, a ministry, a calling that is well worth the long hours, hard work, and low pay. It is one of the things you can do with your life that leaved you proud and satisfied at the end of the day as well as the end of your life.

Farming... who knew it was soon profoundly deeply satisfying.

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