Farmers, what are your life priorities during harvest?

(Photo by Catrina Rawson)

An open letter to my friends, but especially my farmer friends:

I’ve been out a lot the past few days. Harvest is starting up and I’ve barely seen “my girls.”

That said, I came home earlier tonight and had supper with them and put them to bed.

A very deep 7-year-old went from jovial to serious.

I was told that she wanted to talk to me about something but wasn’t sure how. I said to just let it out.

“Dad, last night I dreamed you died.”

Without asking how or trying to dissect it, I proceeded to tell our biggest lie and sealed it with a hug, telling her I’ll always come home.

Always.

I wasn’t ready to explain to her the truths of how farming or life in general can be. Sometimes the Disney version before bed is the best version.

So, I’m explaining it to you.

  • Slow down. Nothing is as important in that moment as you think it is. We’re all in a hurry for the next round, to fill the next truck or to move to the next field. But do it cautiously and carefully. Turn the equipment off when you’re working on it.
  • Rest. No one is super human, and we all know we’ve pushed the envelope on being our freshest.
  • Make the call. There are days you may not see your family when you get home or get up the next morning. But call them before they get to work or school. You need to hear from them as much as they need to hear from you.
  • Be intentional. If you leave before anyone’s up in the morning, leave a note or a funny message. In our house, my wife gets tired of me leaving clothes hangers aimlessly around after I get ready. So yesterday morning I put one, intentionally, in her car. A little greeting card in its own device.
  • Say, “I love you” more and lose your temper less. Pretty self explanatory.

Jared Gregg serves on the Piatt County Farm Bureau Board and lives in Monticello. He farms corn and soybeans with his family just outside of Cerro Gordo. Reprinted from Facebook with permission.