This file includes barns; farming; hay; prairies, fields and crops; and tractors and farm machinery.
Also see Farm Animals, Fences, Country Life and Horses.
(Edward C. Schaefer)
O Lord, please bless this land we farm,
our buildings, home and all the rest.
Protect the seed we plant in spring,
and send the rain to do its best.
Give us the wisdom to tend your land,
and do our best and what we know.
Please help the seeds we planted,
to multiply and grow.
Command your elements to be kind,
and guard our crops out in the field.
Bless our farm at harvest time,
and fill our bins with a grateful yield.
We thank you for these special gifts,
you've granted through the year.
But most of all, we thank you, Lord,
for our family close and dear.
A is for the apples that grow on trees.
B is for the barn where animals live.
C is for the cow that gives milk.
D is for the dog that guards the sheep.
E is for the eggs we eat for breakfast.
F is for the farmer who works on the farm.
G is for the garden where food is grown.
H is for the horses and the hay they eat.
I is for the ice cream that is made from milk.
J is for the jelly that we eat on toast.
K is for the kids which are baby goats.
L is for the lambs that supply us with fleece.
M is for the milk that we like to drink.
N is for the nest in which eggs are laid.
O is for the overalls that some farmers wear.
P is for the pigs that cool off in the mud.
Q is for the quilts that keep us warm.
R is for the rooster who crows in the morning.
S is for the silo where silage is kept.
T is for the turkey we eat at Thanksgiving.
U is for the udder that you find on a cow.
V is for the vines where pumpkins grow.
W is for the wool that we get from sheep.
X is for X-mas-tree farms where we buy our tree.
Y is for the yarn that is made from fleece.
Z is for the zinnia, a flower that's nice.
Sun is coming up
Farmer's out the door,
He will go to milk the cows,
And start his daily chores.
Sun is going down
Horse is in the stable,
All the fields are planted now,
Supper's on the table.
Farming has always brought me peace,
It's a partnership with God--
I plant the seeds, He makes them grow
Where before there was only sod.
Through hot summer days I cultivate,
He sends sun and rain--
Then when autumn cools the air
There's harvest of golden grain.
There will be no farms closed this week because of cold temperatures. Farmers will still be out in the cold and blowing snow tending to their livestock. They will be praying for the machinery to work, the fences to stay put, and that the axe won't break when trying to open water tanks. If you know a farmer, tell them thanks!
A two-weeks' stubble was on his chin,
His overalls were worn and old
His hands were hands of toil.
He had seen the scourging dust
Destroy his greening wheat, and now
His fields stretch to the sky,
A barren waste.
But in his veins the blood of sturdy pioneers
And he, seasoned by the endless wind,
The blazing sun, the drought, the lonely plains,
Looked at the ground and said,
"I aim to try again."
I went to turn the grass once after one
Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.
The dew was gone that made his blade so keen
Before I came to view the leveled scene.
I looked for him behind an isle of trees;
I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.
But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
And I must be, as he had been--alone.
"As all must be," I said within my heart,
"Whether they work together or apart."
But as I said it, swift there passed me by
On noiseless wing a bewildered butterfly,
Seeking with memories grown dim o'er the night
Some resting flower of yesterday's delight.
And once I marked his flight go round and round,
As were some flowers lay withering on the ground.
And then he flew as far as eye could see,
And then on tremulous wing came back to 'em.
I thought of questions that have no reply,
And would have turned to toss the grass to dry;
But he turned first, and led my eye to look
At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook,
A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared
Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared.
I left my place to know them by their name,
Finding them butterfly weed when I came.
The mower in the dew had loved them thus,
By leaving them to flourish, not for us,
Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him,
But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.
The butterfly and I had lit upon,
Nevertheless, A message from the dawn,
That made me hear the wakening birds around,
And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground,
And feel a spirit kindred to my own;
So that henceforth I worked no more alone;
But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
And weary, sought at noon with him the shade;
And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.
"Men work together," I told him from the heart,
"Whether they work together or apart."
He has been a farmer all of his life,
long before he took a wife,
he knew he was meant to work the soil.
His days on this earth would be spent in toil,
planting the crops and clearing the land.
This was all part of the Master's Plan.
As in his father's and grandfather's days.
For generations this had been the ways.
in which they would work the land and the sod,
drawing nearer to nature and communing with God.
To each of his neighbors he lent a hand
They worked together to farm the land,
in autumn when the harvest came,
each one in turn did the same.
All through the week they labored each day,
but on the Sabbath they gathered to pray.
To thank Him for His blessings and love,
what they gathered on earth had come from above . . .
When his children were born he watched them grow.
He taught them the lessons so they would know,
and learn the ways of country and farm,
of love, truth, respect and to do no harm
to creature on land or those in the air,
and to be good stewards of the land in their care.
He watched them ride horses and float down the stream,
but he knew that their future could not be his dream.
This farmer he realizes that he has wealth beyond measure,
because here on this farm he has found all his treasure.
With his family around him, for wealth there's no need.
With all of His blessings he's a rich man indeed.
His breed is a rare one, it's becoming extinct,
with this world's busy lifestyle, there's no time to think.
Life's becoming too hectic and people miss out,
on all of the beauty that lies roundabout.
This farmer can see it as he goes through his days,
From bird's nests to sunsets, each free for the gaze.
The path that he's taken is different than most.
He's content in his heart and has no need to boast.
His drumbeat is different but he follows its sounds,
with his dog by his side he walks over this ground,
of the land that he loves, he will do it no harm,
The place of his birth, the old family farm.
(Harry Elmore Hurd)
He ambled toward us, followed by his cat,
with ill-concealed intention to inquire
who we were and why we crossed his fields
. . . And so we met him, answering desire
with Yankee terseness, telling him that
we were his new neighbors.
"So!" he said, "so you're the folks
who've just moved in. I'm feared you'll
be lonesome when the drifts pile so high
you just can see the poles stick through
"Not us," my wife assured, "with stars
to touch and applewood to burn and books
to know a little better, we shall be
immune to isolation."
"W-a-ll," he drawled, "I guess you'll do."
Glancing at the platinum moon, he challenged,
"Ain't that nice? Folks never see it
quite so clear in any city."
I agreed with him and told him he had
named one good and necessary reason why
we must have elbowroom. The old man's
eyes grew strangely soft.
"You must come
round right soon and meet my wife. She
makes apple pies a man cannot forget,
with crusts as light as air. She might
cut you a square . . . she might."
They have a range of about 20 miles before they overheat, breakdown or run out of gas.
Only the owner knows how to operate the door to get in or out.
It is difficult to drive fast with all the fence tools, grease rags, ropes, chains, syringes, buckets, boots and loose papers in the cab.
It takes too long to start and the smoke coming up through the rusted-out floorboard clouds your vision.
The Border Collie on the toolbox looks mean.
They're too easy to spot. The description might go something like this: The driver's side door is red, the passenger side door is green, the right front fender is yellow, etc.
The large round bale in the back makes it hard to see if you're being chased. You could use the mirrors if they weren't cracked and covered with duct tape.
Top speed is only about 45 mph.
Who wants a truck that needs a year's worth of maintenance, u-joints, $3,000 in body work, tail-lights and windshield.
It is hard to commit a crime with everyone waving at you.
(Vana E. Prouse)
This is rather controversial but it adds a little humor to an otherwise sad situation.
THE LOCAL BANKER
Leaps tall buildings in a single bound;
is more powerful than a locomotive;
is faster than a speeding bullet;
thinks he can walk on water;
gives policy to God.
Leaps short buildings with a running start and favorable winds;
is about as powerful as a toy locomotive;
is slower than a speeding bullet;
walks on water in his indoor swimming pool;
talks to God if special request is granted.
THE STATE GOVERNOR
Makes high marks on the wall when trying to leap tall buildings;
is run over by a locomotive;
can sometimes fire a gun without inflicting self-injury;
talks to animals if they'll listen.
Can't even find a tall building;
plays with his toy train;
shoots himself in the foot almost every time;
takes a respirator to the pool;
talks only at election time.
THE DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE
Runs into buildings;
recognizes locomotives two times out of three;
is not issued ammunition;
can stay afloat with his inflatable ducky;
talks to walls.
THE ASCS OFFICE MANAGER
Falls over doorsteps when trying to enter buildings;
says look at the choo-choo;
wets himself with a water pistol;
plays in mud puddles;
mumbles to himself.
THE AMERICAN FARMER
Lifts tall buildings and walks under them;
Kicks locomotives off the tracks;
Catches speeding bullets between his teeth then eats them;
freezes water at a single glance;
walks and talks with God.
(Mary Hollingsworth from Wichita)
Whackin' wheat . . .
Oh, my achin' back and feet!
Dreadin' rain we're bound to get.
Cut 'n dump,
Haul 'n scoop,
Watery tea and lukewarm soup.
Rig broke down,
Run to pick up parts in town.
Done at last!
Crops all in . . .
Time to plow and plant again.
To make a prairie it takes clover and one bee;
One clover and a bee,
The reverie alone will do
If bees are few.
(Ralph W. Seager)
Here is a miracle painted red,
A weather vane upon its head
With sliding panels in the walls,
The hidden doors and secret stalls.
The wheat upon this threshing floor
Once stood in acres, score on score;
And all of June stacked in this pile
Was hay and clover by the mile.
With summer high up in the mows
Above the sheep, above the cows,
The small teeth nibbling in the bin . . .
So winter's barn takes all things in.
Here, in this small and magic box,
The farmer crowds his fields and flocks;
Arithmetic can never tell
How one barn holds the farm so well.
See TractorForum.com - Tractor enthusiast forum with forums for all models and versions of tractors including compact utility, lawn garden, agriculture and construction.
(by William Mueller)
People who have never made hay think of it as a simple process. A machine shaped like a flattened dinosaur is pulled behind a tractor. From the end of this fearsome machine-monster, bales are belched at regular intervals.
Later, another tractor appears, pulling a wagon with some people standing on it. Beside the wagon walk other people, who pause to fetch these bales, turning them over to the people on the wagon who cheerfully stack them in neat rows.
The reason everyone is so cheerful is obvious--they are communing with nature. No doubt they will soon be served one of those famous farm-style meals in the shade of a huge tree.
I have made hay when it almost turned out like this. But I do see two things wrong with the vision. First, something usually takes place to make haymaking less than perfect; and second, there are as many ways to make hay as there are people doing it.
You can blow it, pile it, compress it, or tie it--with twine or wire. It can be shaped into rectangles and cubes, or be made to look like shredded wheat, or loaves or bread, or giant mushrooms, or the dash marks a writer uses in his copy - - -.
What does it all mean? Well, for one thing, it means there is more to this haymaking than meets the eye. It is not all beer and skittles, as the urban transcendentalist would assume.
Say, for example, you are to load 60-pound bales into a flatbed truck. The field is three-quarters of a mile long, so you take the job in the back of the truck.
What you discover soon enough is that each time, as regular as clockwork, you stack the bales up to the fifth row, it is necessary to reach over your head to do so. Each time you swing a bale to that height it pinches the muscles in your shoulders, and your legs begin to shudder, and your stomach tightens.
Sound terrible? But that is a piece of cake compared to the loading of round bales, and you must use a hook to hoist them aboard. Most round bales weigh seventy to eighty pounds, and the ones I worked with were wrapped in wire.
Wire can cut the palm of your hand to shreds. It can leave your fingers numb for days. Even with a very sharp hook the haymaker must be careful to aim the hook at a precise angle when sticking the bale, because it will careen off the tightly packed bale and complete its arc in the meat of your leg.
Once you have sunk into the bale, then it is snapped off the ground quickly, swung on board with a twist of the wrist, caught on the hip, swung, and dropped on the pile.
At the speed you must go, a person soon begins taking shortcuts. You catch the bales on the thigh, and instead of using your arms and shoulders, you use your wrists. By the end of the day your legs are trembling so badly you can barely stand. But the wrists take the worst beating. The constant strain of the bales makes every tendon ache. After it is over, you can barely hold a cup of water to your lips.
Many times, everything about the haymaking has been good except for a single detail. Perhaps the dust is so thick around stacked hay that you cannot breath, or the heat in the loft makes your body slick with sweat, which mixes with straw to run into your eyes, but there is no dry spot to wipe your eyes clear, so you work on--half blind.
Or perhaps you are stacking round bales in long rows and the bottom row gives way, sending them collapsing down around your legs and knocking you over. Or maybe it is the wire that has worked through your gloves, or one muscle you pull early in the day.
But I have to admit there are many good things about haymaking. The smell of fresh-cut hay is an aroma a person recognizes for the rest of his life. He sucks it eagerly into his lungs no matter what he has gone on to be.
And there are things about a hay-making day that can only be felt after you have lived through it--the way the sun looks going down with the last load, the sound the tractor makes opening up on the road with your last trip to the barn.
And there is the way people can come together in haymaking and reach a point where no one needs to speak to be understood. It is an exhausted, peaceful, accomplished time.
It is the sort of time we could use always.