Thanking My Farmer… Thank Your Farmer Today!

One of my latest obsessions lately has been Jason Aldean’s song “Fly Over States”.. In it, he starts off like this…

A couple of guys in first class on a flight
From New York to Los Angeles
Kinda making small talk killin’ time
Flirting with the flight attendants
Thirty thousand feet above, could be Oklahoma

Just a bunch of square cornfields and wheat farms
Man, it all looks the same
Miles and miles of back roads and highways
Connecting little towns with funny names
Who’d want to live down there, in the middle of nowhere

They’ve never drove through Indiana
Met the man who plowed that earth
Planted that seed, busted his ass for you and me
Or caught a harvest moon in Kansas
They’d understand why God made
Those fly over states

Some photos taken on my way to Wishek, ND

And you know usually I probably wouldn’t pay much attention to a song like this, well, because I’ve never experienced much of those fly over states except to visit for a week here or there every couple of years. I had never really been exposed to what it’s like living somewhere in the middle of this country. But now, as the reality of the fact that I will be soon becoming a resident of North Dakota is sinking in, which in case you haven’t looked on a map, is located in the middle of this country, something about this song hit home for me.

And the more time I spend here, the more time I get exposed to what it is that farmers, who provide this country with its food, do on a daily basis. And the life of a farmer is a damn hard one. What makes it even worse (and quite frankly makes me sick) is when people out there bash the lifestyle of a farmer and make claims that it is easy. Let me tell you, the little bit I have experienced has shown me that it is anything but easy. It really is a never ending job!

Can't wait to see how the landscape changes as crops grow

So today I’d like to thank my farmer!

With the rain of last week gone, things are starting to get green around here, farmers are chomping at the bit to begin fertilizing and planting. And the chaos has begun. Now for those of you unfamiliar with what it is my farmer does, not only does he farm with his father and brother (along with the help of the women in his life- mother and sister-in-law), but he is also an agronomist. What in the world is that you may be thinking…? (Not going to lie, I had to look it up when he first told me too). Well I explain an agronomist as he is an adviser to farmers. By definition he is an expert in plant and soil sciences. He help farmers use their land more effectively and suggests methods to increase yields. He may also aid in solving or preventing problems with soil and crops.

So agronomist by day, farmer by evening… Sort of. In reality, both jobs are really never ending. His days begin around 7 AM when he is up and out the door before I am even able to wipe the sleep out of my eyes (I have yet to adapt to the time change… or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself, ha!)  He may spend his day (right now) spreading fertilizer all day or maybe at the plant managing the chaos that is going on right now as everyone gears up to plant. His phone is ringing off the hook with farmers trying to order seed, fertilizer, needing to ask questions, etc. If he has time, I see him around lunchtime. But just long enough for him to wolf down some food and then he’s out the door. The next time I will see him is around 8-9 P.M. Yes, at night. And yes, that is a 12 hour day. And then work doesn’t stop there. Phone calls and text messages continue from farmers throughout the evening. Or like last night around 11:30 P.M., we have to go investigate an anhydrous leak. An agronomist-farmer’s work is never done! 😉

But I am finding the more I lament (Haha! Not really…) on Facebook and Twitter about my woes of “farmer’s girlfriend”, the more support I receive in that knowing I am not alone. But in fact, there is a whole community of women out there whom this is everyday life for them. But in all actuality, any man that has been married for years on end, knows that they wouldn’t have made it without their wives. Whether working full time jobs on top of being a “single” farm mom and maintaining the household, being a farmer’s wife is not an easy task either.

And if there is anything I’ve learned from spending my time out here in the middle of the country, in the prairies of North Dakota it is this. Our country today would not function without the long hours farmers put in for us. And although I live in an area where agriculture reigns supreme. And agriculture is indeed something I am very passionate about, I even write about it here. Never before have I seen and experienced farming firsthand like I have here in North Dakota. When I wrote my first blogpost about North Dakota I said that the people are passionate about three things: their community, farming, and their food. And that is indeed the truth. Farming reigns supreme here. People around here live, eat, and breathe farming. And there isn’t anyone in the area who doesn’t appreciate what these people are doing because face it, most of them are living it.

Back in March, hauling grain to the elevator with my farmer

When I was here back in March, you may recall me sharing photos of hauling a truck of grain to the elevator. What that means essentially is we were selling the grain. That day we hauled THREE semi loads of wheat to that elevator. Now let’s break this down.. Did you know that 70-73 loaves of white bread can be made from a bushel of wheat? And on average, that day, we were carrying 1,000 bushels per semi load. So in other words that day we were supplying this country with around 210,000 loaves of bread. How cool is that!?

Living here, spending the days with my farmer, it has really cemented for me what it is that farmers all across the country do for us. All of us. And why we should be thanking them. Every single day. The food we put on our tables, the food that sustains us. We have it thanks to farmers. Farmers who literally (like Jason Aldean says) busts their ass for you and me. Because without them, the world would literally be starving.Farmers know this, because afterall, they wouldn’t be putting in all this hard work if they weren’t passionate about what they do. And they have every right to be proud of what it is that they do. In my eyes, it’s pretty incredible. Don’t you think?

This is called a drill. It is essentially a planter. It puts seed and fertilizer in the ground in measured distances. How cool is that!?

So thank you to my farmer, to all my friends who farm, and to those of you I have yet to meet. Thank you for the hard work you put in to feed your family and to feed mine. And know that despite how the media portrays you, know that there are people out there who appreciate what it is that you do, every day, sometimes 12-14 hours a day.

And to my farmer, Mark, I know that this life of ours won’t all be rainbows and sunshine. I fully know that this life we are choosing to embark on will be full of long days, hard days, and lonely days. But know that I will always appreciate the hard work you do. And that when you come home at night after a long day, I will be here. And I know how much that means to you.

And to the entirety of Rohrich Farms, I feel so blessed to be able to experience what it is that you all have been doing since 1970. I know it is your passion as well as your livelihood. And I thank you all  enough for all your hard work, blood, sweat, and tears you’ve given to the farm. I cannot wait to share with the rest of the world your stories through my eyes and my lens. And most of all, I cannot wait to find my place in your legacy.

North Dakota Sunsets really are picture perfect.





5 responses to “Thanking My Farmer… Thank Your Farmer Today!

  1. I married my farmer some 30 plus years ago. I grew up in the city and really wondered what I had gotten myself in to when I married this man. Initially we lived on that farm with his parents and soon we started a family and purchase a small farm of our own. I felt so far removed from everything I knew and so appreciated the fact that my inlaws were there to make me feel comfortable with where I was. Today, I could not imagine being anywhere else. I love this life we live. Some days are so long and so hard but then there are days we can go on a road trip and not worry about punching a clock or using up all our vacation time. We are on our own time. The one thing I appreciate the most about this life we live is that it is the best place to raise a family. I feel so blessed that my children grew up learning responsibility and knowing the the farm was not just the way we made a living but a way of life. I think you have a real grasp on what farming is about in this part of the country. I am sure there will be times when you felt as I did in the beginning but be rest assured, you will never regret your choice because you have already fallen in love with this farmer and ND, but you will forever love this way of life you have chosen to be a part of. Blessings to you and your farmer!!!

    • Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! Hearing all these stories people share with me once they stumble upon our story, it makes my heart happy and brings tears to my eyes. With so much negativity in our world today, it’s stories like these that bring us a ray of hope! 🙂 thank you again!

  2. Beautiful post, Jenny! Love it! I, for one, am proud to have spent almost my entire life in a flyover state. To most people, Illinois is that state that has two major hub airports and good pizza. They don’t see beyond the Chicago city lights. And while in many ways Chicago is “my” city, home will always be a ways down the interstate, where the stars shine bright and the farmers toil. I think living in California made me appreciate the big wide-open between the coasts even more.

    I’m not a farmer, but I’ve always “had” a farmer, or several, near and dear to me. Love this post. Love my flyover states. Love watching your story unfold like this. Also, love you.

  3. Pingback: A Day In the Life…Of a California Girl in North Dakota | [ j. l. d. ] Photography Blog·

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