I was at a meeting with farmers the other day and one of them said, “I feel like a young man, but I look in the mirror, and I see an old man. One of us is lying. I think it’s the mirror.”
The old saying, “you’re as old as you feel,” takes on new meaning when talking with farmers. Farmers don’t grow older; they grow smarter. I’ve had an 80+ year old in a group, and thought to myself: Whoops! Should have put an age restriction on the group…only to have him come up with the most insightful comments, the most innovative improvements, the most thoughtful take on the topic. The group was far better for his presence, regardless of his age – and perhaps because of it.
Never Too Old to Be a Farmer
If you think about it, there are only a few occupations where people stay as active as long as farmers do. Congress comes to mind, as well as self-made millionaires and billionaires. Does anybody really think Warren Buffet is too old to be the most successful investor in the world?
Farming Is a Way of Life not a Job
Robust is always the word that comes to my mind when I talk with these gentlemen. They often look far younger than they are and act even younger. And their dads do, too! I shouldn’t be as surprised as I still often am at how 90-year-old dads still come out to farm every day. There is something about being an American farmer that sticks to your heart, stays in your blood, and gives you a reason to get up every day.
Weathering the Storm
This season, as I have mentioned before, is the perfect storm of bad luck. And still, these farmers smile, speak of their hardships with an even tone, and talk about next year. They have learned to take the bad with the good, the ups with the downs, and they know more than most that situations can turn on a dime.
Farmers Are Optimists
Farmers are eternal optimists. Maybe that’s why they can be 21, or 41, or 61, or 91 and look forward to getting up tomorrow to do it all again. We should all be so lucky.
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