Finding the Silver Lining

Often times those of us blogging about agriculture get criticized for continuing the stigma of “romanticizing” the farm life. When my last post went literally viral and made it onto the Huffington Post. I had a few people who criticized my sunshine outlook on farm life. The truth is, they are right. Sometimes we do romanticize farm life. Want to know why we do it? We do it because if you don’t find that shiny silver lining in the small things in farm life… well, your life would be pretty darn miserable from time to time.

Let me tell you something… those of you who are far removed from the farm life, the rural life, the ranch life… It is hard. Sometimes living the farm life hits you square in the gut, right where it hurts. Sometimes things happen that are like an ice pick straight to the heart.

Bad things happen.  It rains when you don’t want it to, it doesn’t rain when you want it to. The wind blows 100 mph when you don’t want it to breaking and snapping corn stalks. Mother Nature is unpredictable and relentless. She can yield cruel and devastating consequences for farmers and ranchers alike. Crops burn up, get flooded, are ruined in hail storms. Even worse, we’ve experienced the consequences of Mother Nature for an entire state when natural disasters strike. The ranchers in South Dakota will be recovering the devastation of this latest freak snowstorm for years to come.

Equipment breaks down and much like your car, it is costly to fix. Even worse, equipment that is necessary to harvest crops catches fires and burns to the ground in the field.  With rising prices of land, high feed costs, and operating costs on a continual rise, farmers extend their credit with the bank well beyond what they can ever pay back. Some may even be forced to file bankruptcy.

Across the entire nation, on a day to day basis, you are bound to find some farmer out there having the day from hell.

So, we do what anyone else does… We find the silver lining. We find comic relief. You know those things where sometimes all you can do is laugh because if you don’t laugh, you will cry..? We have those moments too.

So what is the silver lining…?

North Dakota Wheat Field

The silver living is realizing the intricate beauties of the wide open spaces all around us.

Planting for Willie-8

The silver lining is continuing on a family legacy and teaching our children the value of hard work and perseverance.


The silver lining is realizing how far you have come from when you started with nothing.

Photo Oct 10, 11 06 20 AM

The silver lining is remembering the hard times you’ve been through, how you weathered it through, and this too shall pass.

Planting for Willie-4

The silver lining is realizing that you aren’t alone in your struggles. That you’ve got a whole group of people out there who have been right where you are right now.

Mark & Jenny Rohrich

For some, maybe the silver lining is remembering you’ve got a forever partner by your side… An equal who shares the same hopes and dreams as you do.

It’s the memories of those silver lining moments that remain forever engraved upon on brains. It’s the passion we have for those silver lining moments that get us out of bed in the morning and give us strength to face another day.

There are so many silver linings to be found in life on the farm.

Tell me… what is your silver lining? 

To read more about me, visit my About page. To read more about farming… visit my posts on harvestplantingchecking fields. To read more about how a California girl met and married a North Dakota farmer, check out my posts about our modern day love story.

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26 responses to “Finding the Silver Lining

  1. Love this, Jenny. If it weren’t for the ability to find a silver lining, and the strength of community, many farmers would have quit long ago. Humor has saved us from going crazy with worry many times!

  2. I think for me the silver lining could be any number of things….knowing that the crops and cattle we just harvested will provide for so many more down the road, witnessing that new life blossom and grow, viewing the beauty of a field ready to harvest or a hayfield ready to cut; realizing that several generations of my family before me have done this same work and depend on you to continue to do so; knowing that what we are doing makes a difference in people’s lives (I think that’s the big one). It could also be the sun breaking through the clouds, or the bountiful rain coming down that we desperately need, or searching for cattle in a blizzard, just to find them safe and secure and protected from the elements as best as they can. I truly believe that your silver lining can be anything you make it to be 🙂

    • I agree with that! So often in our busy lives, we miss those little moments. The small, most insignificant things in life are the ones that matter the most! Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  3. 1. Every farm kid on the planet has a picture of themselves in the big yellow tire. That made me laugh.

    2. Did you guys get hit with that storm? Man, that was just devastating.

    • It’s where farm kids like to hang out!! And thankfully we did not get hit with that storm. We did get quite a bit of rain but it was nothing compared to the amount of snow dropped on South Dakota. It makes my heart hurt every time I see photos and read about it. It’s so sad.

  4. I really enjoyed reading 10 ways marrying a farmer will change your life as I shared it on my Facebook as well. Before I seen this article today number 2 was the most significant thing to me, then I seen this today. It is about finding the silver lining because bad things do happen. Most recently my husband was in a farming accident which resulted in multiple surgeries and the end result an amputation. At 27 I never thought something like this would be part of our life. Even being a nurse myself seeing lots of amputations you never think it could happen to me. As he now is at home still healing at the present time it is driving him crazy to see all our family and friends help do all the fall work and harvesting. I think that in knowing we have that support is very much of a silver lining, that and the all the bonding time we spent in the hospital over the past month! I also think about that silver lining and am thankful that he is still here and that it have been a lot worse. Thank you so much for your posts and blog, very inspiring and true!

    • Oh my gosh! I am so sorry to hear about you and your husband’s tragic loss at such a young age! I commend you on your attitude though! It’s easy to dwell on the fact that he lost a part of himself, but like you said at the same time, he is still alive! Thank you so very much for stepping up and sharing your personal story! It is inspiring to me! And a good reminder to all of us out there that even when we are having a bad day, it could be a whole lot worse!

    • My husband is also 27 and him being in a farm accident is always at the back of my mind. So glad your husband’s accident wasn’t worse. It is so neat to see a community come together to help out a farmer with harvest. 3 years ago in our small town, a farmer fell off a bin breaking his back. About 4 days later, a group of farmers including my husband and his family showed up and they literally had the guy’s harvest complete in less than 2 days.

      • Oh my goodness! There is no denying that often times farm life is very dangerous! But the farm community is also strong! We had that happen this planting season. One farmer in the area was taking care of his wife who was very sick! A whole group of farmers came out and planted ALL of his crops for him. It was such a beautiful sight!

  5. Once again, thank you fate, for having this blog run square into me this week! ❤

    I've been told that I'm too optimistic to be in the farm world. In fact, I've been told that you have to be a realist or even a pessimist to survive an agricultural lifestyle.
    contraire mon frere.
    Quite the opposite, actually. You have to be full of hope and optimism. You have to hope it rains, hope it grows, hope it yields, hope it doesn't burn down, hope it fits the need. In order to be a farmer, you have to be an optimist. Without hope, you’ve got no reason to keep on keepin’ on.
    From a farm in Colorado fighting an uphill battle right now, bless your words. ❤

  6. So well said Jenny. My silver lining is witnessing my beautiful 7 year old daughter walking cotton rows with her Dad, or seeing her up in a rice harvester with her uncle. I beamed when she said she wants to drive tractor like her Dad. Sure, I would like her to go to college but that connection to the land she has, is so important. We want her to be able to work on the ranch as she grows up. Whether she stays or not, thats her choice.

    grows up, maybe she will choose to stay

  7. Jenny, I so love all of your posts about your farmer and your farm life up there in North Dakota!! Keep those thoughts and stories coming!! Hope all is well with you and get ready for your winter..hope its not like South Dakota just had!! Kathy _____

  8. Lady! I wish you were nearby, i NEED more farm wives like you around to talk to!! =) I found you on Huffington Post yesterday in the middle of trying to make weekend plans to go to a wedding out of town and my farmer is still harvesting corn.. but now it’s raining, and how long will it rain..? so NO I can’t make any plans!
    It was such an encouragement to find you at that moment, i laughed with tears in my eyes! Feels so great just to hear someone say it’s unpredictable, it’s normal. like you were there to say, “YES, I know exactly what you mean!”
    We do need to look for the silver lining. Farming is work and life all meshed together, never an off button. It’s what i love about it and it’s what i hate about it. But i do so love to share life and marriage in this way! Thank you for articulating these thoughts so well — and WAY TO GO, you’re not only writing amazing things but it’s being read by so many people! There will be plenty of negative feedback as well as positive but you just keep looking for the silver lining and write on – and keep loving that farmer of yours! 😉

    • THANK YOU for such an AMAZING comment!! You made me giggle for sure!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! It’s so beautiful! And the photos!! AHH! Very nice!

      The past few days have been AMAZING as far as the sheer amount of people I’ve been able to reach!! I am so happy that I’ve been receiving a mostly positive response from it all, even over at HuffPost too! I will chalk it up as a WIN for Ag! 🙂

  9. I was a farm wife for 27 years until my husband passed away a little over a year ago. I have loved and hated farm life all in one go. I love the connection to the land, I love the time spent together in the field, I love the memories that were not funny at the time but are so funny now looking back, I love the connection to generations past and the link to generations future. I hated not being able to plan anything…ever, I hated having my day planned out just to be totally rearranged because hubby needed a part “real quick” and it ended up taking up the whole day, I hated that he missed so many special days and school functions. I remember being upset at him one time for him not coming to an “important” event. His response was, “I did that one time, took off when I needed to be picking, and rain set in and I never got that crop picked; it rotted in the field. I’m sorry honey but I gotta pick.” There were days when I wished that he had a regular 9-5 job so I could keep; a schedule. We could eat supper the same time every night. We could plan a vacation or to go somewhere. But I would not trade one thing now. Not one thing. Yes there were struggles financially and I never had new anything and my furniture was mismatched. Do we romanticize it? Yes, I suppose we do, but for every hard thing there is about farming there is so much joy in it as well and it really is a different life that most people cannot understand. I ride past the fields now with the tractors and combines and just wish that I had my farmer here to take lunch to one more time or pick up that part “real quick”. I miss it with every part of my being. So negative people…let us romanticize farm life and let us see the best in it because it is our life!

    • Very well said! My condolences to you on your husband’s passing! It sounds like you have such beautiful memories together! I think every “farm wife” goes through a love/hate relationship with the farm! It’s really like my husband has another wife! LOL! The farm! Thank you so much for commenting and stopping by! I appreciate it so much!

  10. Amen.

    Mine is the satisfaction of a job well done, especially in the heart of an Indiana winter when chores take a couple of hours in the evening because the ice is hard to break, and I can go inside and feed myself after feeding my animals. It’s a cozy feeling.

    There’s also nothing like having two farm dogs around to give a new spirit to the place. There’s some renewal to the farm, especially with all four seasons coming around, and everything is so brilliant in the fall. Guess I’m an eternal optimist, but I wouldn’t trade farm life for anything. I’ve lived in town for the past six years, and that’s enough for me.

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  12. Great post! Sometime I feel like farmers get criticized for saying their job is so important and so much hard work and at the same time, like you mentioned, get condemned for “romanticizing” it. So you’ve just got to do, what you’ve got to do, to make it through life and find your “silver lining.”

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