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Intro — Why I Love Farmers

My family doesn’t farm, I grew up in the suburbs, but I love farmers… They feed my soul!   When I was just a kid, I started working at nearby stables and eventually, I started riding and breaking colts for a number of ranches in the area.  As I grew up, I became more and more impressed with the hardworking, tenacious ranchers who worked long hours for little, if any, material gain.   A number of injuries put my horse training career on hold so I moved down to San Luis Obispo to major in Agricultural Business at Cal Poly.  I knew that I wanted to continue working with these farmers and ranchers I had come to admire.  

I love farmers and ranchers.  They’re responsible for the food on my table but that’s not the only reason.  Way back in 1785, Thomas Jefferson wrote “Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens.  They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it’s liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.”  Thomas Jefferson highly idealized farmers and I believe his sentiments still ring true.  Farmers are tough.  A friend’s grandfather was bucking hay the day he died.  My own grandfather, although he only has a small garden now, is more active in his 90’s than many 20 year olds.  Farmer’s are more than just physically tough.  When there are no guarantees, when the pay is low, when your livelihood depends on the weather and the market, it takes mental fortitude to keep on keeping on day after day, year after year.  It requires uncommon self reliance and independence.  They are not afraid of being different and they’re proud of who they are.  Today, criticizing this country is in vogue yet my farmer friends are unashamedly patriotic.

In this era of instant gratification and complacency, the toughness, mental fortitude, and self reliance of the farmer demands respect.  But, the number one reason I love farmers — my friends — is because they’re good people.  

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One Comment

  1. Sarah Poff
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Jessica,

    I love this post! You captured my love for farmers and ranchers and highlighted exactly what I and many others experience through interactions with them! I would add that farmers and ranchers have a unique and keen since of resourcefulness and understand the delicate balance between sustainability and yields.

    Thank you for noting how far our country has gone down the “instant gratification” road, and how fortunate we are as a country to have agriculturalists who continue to work hard and instill their passion and work ethic in future generations!

    I too did not grow up in agriculture but Cal Poly gave me the opportunity to become part of the agricultural community! It’s so great to have passionate young people like you and the “I Love Farmer’s” team who are giving our generation another face! Keep up the good work!

    Sarah Poff

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