The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill.
Harvest is almost over around these parts. There is a half a dozen or so farmers up north with fields of corn and beans ta finish up on but fer the most part the rush is over.
With the recent rains, farmers in our area will more aggressively address fall tillage need and fertilizer application especially NH3.
Did ya ever wonder where your food comes from? These days with plastics, synthetics, and Kleenex: folks in metropolitan areas don't always fully understand where their food originates or who produces it. People that have lived their entire lives in the cities, where all food and fiber comes over a counter, out of a can or sack, in a pizza box, and quickly received, never completely comprehend the source and what goes into the making of their food supply. Until they find their shelves bare, will they likely give it much thought.
As I pointed out in September, there would be no cities without the farmer and his product. Hollywood actors that entertain, soldiers, sailors and pilots who fight the wars, computer operators, teachers, union activity, etc., all would come to an abrupt end without the farmer and his food and fiber.
Back of every achievement of men and women, and every step that civilization has taken forward, stands the farmer and the food he or she has placed in the ancient pot or on the modern table.
With those thoughts in mind I will share with you the follow'n three poems.
A Farmer's Hands
Hands that are large and tough from many years of rugged, outdoor work.
Hands with fingers sensitive to music, but too thick to strike just one key on the piano, or a single string on a violin.
Hands that are versatile, simultaneously wielding an ax and swiping a fistful of pinch berries from a nearby bush..
Hands that clasp themselves habitually in prayer-giving thanks for food, for rain, for sun, for late frosts, early springs, good yield, for soil, for health, for a newborn calf.
Hands that are strong, squeezing out a pail full of milk in just no time, pulling strands of barbed wire taut, carrying mountains of hay and oceans of water to hungry, thirsty farm creatures.
Hands that are gentle, marveling at the softness of a furry kitten, rescuing a pheasant's nest from the path of the plow, patting the shoulder of a disappointed child.
Hands that are inventive, twisting, pounding, pinching, until a machine is fixed, shaping an idea into something useful.
Hands that are tired from over a half century of tilling, planting, weeding, harvesting.
Hands that we loved, a farmer's hands, Our father's, our grandfather's, our mothers, our grandmother's our ancestor's hands.
The Farmer's Creed
The next poem is entitled The Farmer's Creed.
I believe a person's greatest possession is their dignity and that no calling bestows this more abundantly than farming.
I believe hard work and honest sweat are the building blocks of a person's character.
I believe that farming, despite its hardships and disappointments, is the most honest and honorable way an individual can spend their days on this earth.
I believe my children are learning values that will last a lifetime and can be learned in no other way.
I believe farming provides education for life and that no other occupation teaches so much about birth, growth and maturity in such a variety of ways.
I believe many of the best things in life are free: the splendor of a sunrise, the rapture of wide open spaces, the exhilarating sight of your land greening each spring.
I believe true happiness comes from watching your crops ripen in the field, your children grow tall in the sun, your whole family feel the pride that springs from their shared experience.
I believe that by my toil I am giving more to the world than I am taking from it, an honor that does not come to all people.
I believe my life will be measured ultimately by what I have done for my fellowmen, and by this standard I fear no judgment.
I believe when a person grows old and sums up their days, they should be able to stand tall and feel pride in the life they have lived.
I believe in farming because it makes all this possible.
The Old Farmer's Prayer
As a final thought I will include The Old Farmer's Prayer:
The Old Farmer's Prayer
Time just keeps moving on
Many years have come and gone
But I grow older without regret
My hopes are in what may come yet.
On the farm I work each day
This is where I wish to stay
I watch the seeds each season sprout
From the soil as the plants rise out.
I study Nature and I learn
To know the earth and feel her turn
I love her dearly and all the seasons
For I have learned her secret reasons.
All that will live is in the bosom of Earth
God is the loving author of all birth
But all that lives must pass away
And go back again to earth someday.
My life too will pass from Earth
But do not grieve, I say, there will be other birth
When my body is old and all spent
And my soul to Heaven has went.
Please bury me on this plain.
So my body Mother Earth can claim
That is where I wish to be
Then Nature can nourish new life with me.
So do not for me grieve and weep
I did not leave, I only sleep
I am with the soil here below
Where I can nourish life of beauty and glow.
Here I can help the falling rain
Grow golden fields of ripening grain.
From here I can join the winds that blow
And meet the softly falling snow.
Here I can help the sun's warming light
Grow food for birds of gliding flight
I can be in the beautiful flowers of spring
And in every other lovely thing.
So do not fer me weep and cry
For now I am at rest.
There ya have it then, three poems relate'n ta the folk who produce the food and nourishment that provide fer civilization. I'm not sure of the authors ta give them proper credit. But their work sure provides food fer thought.
Have a good rest of the week. Enjoy life, take time ta visit a friend or neighbor, especially if'n you have any in the hospital, nurse'n home or are confined to their home. Remember ta tell your loved ones how much ya appreciate them - share your good feel'ns.
Hope'n ta see ya in church this week. Wherever ya is, whatever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE!"
Keep on Smile'n
Catch Ya Later