And on the 8th day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So, God made a farmer.
God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So, God made a farmer.
I need somebody with strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back real soon…and mean it. So, God made a farmer.
God said “I need somebody that can shape an ax handle with a persimmon twig, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And…who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon. Then, pain’n from “tractor back”, put in another seventy two hours. So, God made a farmer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop on mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So, God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets…and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer.
It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight… and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed… and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self feeder and then finish a hard days work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who’d laugh and then sigh… and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life “doing what dad does”. So, God made a farmer.
– Poem delivered by Paul Harvey
at the 1978 National FFA Convention.
Harvey’s voice reciting this poem was used in a Dodge Ram advertisement during the Super Bowl and the ad has garnered a lot of attention. Caledonia FFA advisor Brad Harguth was in college at the University of Minnesota when Harvey spoke at the 1978 FFA convention but recently was interviewed by Channel 19 TV about the stir the Dodge Ram commercial has created.
Harguth and members of Caledonia’s FFA club agreed that the poem about farmers rings true – that farmers are all of the things the poem says about them. Harvey acknowledged the hard work and importance of farmers and agriculture. In so doing, hopefully Harvey educated some of those in our society that are so removed from agriculture that they have no idea where the steaks found in the meat section come from.
– Diana Hammell