Farm Moms Bond Family, Farm, Community
Moms may represent the glue that holds the family together. Yet, their adhering nature equally bonds the family farm and rural communities, too.
Farm women make farms more productive, conscience and safe. They mold communities into better places to live. And for generations, they have toiled to raise good citizens as much as good corn. Families own 97 percent of Illinois farms, where wives, moms and daughters likely play substantial roles. This Mother’s Day, those farm women deserve a hearty hug from agriculture.
Narratives float the Internet about the “ninth day,” when God made a farm wife to help the farmer He created on the eighth one. The poems praise farm women who live for “we” not “me,” with service to farm, family and community, like my farm mom. She makes marketing decisions, keeps the books, pays the bills and retrieves machinery repair parts. Yet, she takes time to host a sleepover with the grandkids and guarantees a hot meal to the field every harvest night. She reminds the guys to quit in time to clean up for a family party and commits to co-chair the kitchen for a church turkey supper that serves half the town.
My farm mom can talk crop insurance strategy as well as she bakes a batch of signature cookies for a funeral luncheon. She manages the farm’s finances, keeps up on agriculture news and transports aging parents to appointments. She accepts Jill-of-all-trades duties with nothing more selfish than a secret sigh on a hectic day. By the end of it, she stays awake late near the cellphone when one of her guys – husband, son or employees – work the fields into the night.
Even with the uniqueness of Illinois’ farms and women themselves, most farm women understand what it means to go with the farm flow. They may tolerate mud at the back door, mow acres of grass between rains and shuttle kids. They often exhibit the strength to heave bales and scoop out bins, as well as manage family conflict and deal with loss, whether barn fire or newborn calf. Many manage an off-farm job, too, and those with young kids realize that the busy seasons bring extra parenting responsibilities, their contributions to the cause.
Still, some farm women may pilot the combine, operate the auger cart and manage calving. Many can read rainy satellite radars with more accuracy than some popular website hourly forecasts. They often know their wrenches and how to use them, budget for farm needs before home luxuries, and routinely preach “safety first” for the love of it all.
The farm women in my life measure their success on the happiness of home, the health of the farm and the spirit of community around them. Mother’s Day or not, take today to recognize the farm women in your life. Then, thank God for His ninth day.