November 2009
Farm Fresh Memories

Farm Folk, City Folk… From a Farmer’s Perspective…

It was Monday, nearin’ mid-mornin’, when I walked through the old double-front doors of The Flat Rock General Store. Here I directed myself t’ward the old potbellied heater and a near full deck of Store regulars includin’ Slim, Essex, the widow Cora, Ms. Ida, my Daddy "Pop" C.C., Farlow, Willerdean, "Truth," Estelle, Bro., S.R., J.R., "Hatch," Heath and Dustin all gathered ‘bout the rear of The Store. There were my friends Orland Britnell, John Thorn, Roland Gargis and even the music man himself, Mr. Harley Hood. There was a few other community and area folk all a directin’ their efforts at swappin’ warmth with the old potbellied heater on a very crisp fall day.

Bro. had the floor and was a passin’ out flyers concernin’ the normal Thanksgivin’ supper down to the Baptist Church. Always held on the Tuesday night shy of Thanksgivin’, it is designed so as to not bother any other normal churchgoer’s weekly services or late-week family together time.

At this here point, there was several other topics throwed out, like huntin’, football, politics, weather happenin’s, even Bro’s Sunday sermon and who it was meant for.

Durin’ all this, Ms. Ida had scribed out along the back wall in red marker on white butcher paper, "FARM-CITY ACTIVITIES THIRD WEEK OF NOVEMBER."

She here further noted out loud that she had volunteered to help with the Lawrence County Farm-City activities on Thursday of that week. Nextly, she offered with farming (production agriculture) nearin’ less than two percent of the U.S.A. population, but everyone still eats, there is a serious story to be told.

Me being the pure country boy/ag man and retired county agent, I had to offer my perspective in a poem I had written back near ought five.

FARMING!!!

It is in my blood, it is what I choose to do.
Some men love to race cars, play golf, fish,
Ride motorcycles, have other interests too!!!

But the desire to farm gets me through.
It is my life blood, it is what I strive to do—

Work the cattle, gather eggs,
Build a fence, construct a barn, haul some hay,
Sit on a tractor—day after day,
Till the soil…plow, plant, harvest
…Operate a combine or cotton picker

Wish/hope—work, worry, pray…
Plan for a rainy day, it is a farmer’s way!!!

Attend a program or meeting,
…Fight for recognition and respect,
There is always work, there are some rewards, 
At times a true sense of accomplishment or success—

Oft it just means a job well done
And maybe, just maybe, a “Thank You”!!! 
From one or two, for what I do…

But, not to worry, farming is in my blood, 
It is what I have chosen to do—

Yes, I say proudly, farming is what I do!!!
Do you know farming too???

Remember, we are all (100 percent) involved daily in consumption agriculture and to thank God often for Farmers!!!

Also, to thank God, not just at Thanksgivin’, but year-round for all our simple blessin’s like clothin’, transportation, shelter, communicatin’, jobs, water and especially family and friends.

HAPPY THANKSGIVIN’!!!
REMEMBER YOUR HERITAGE!!!
ALWAYS, THINK GOOD MEMORIES!!!

Joe Potter is a former vocational agriculture teacher, FFA advisor and retired county agent (Colbert County).