Many people ponder over their choice of vocation. For me, I really do not remember making the choice to farm. Farming was just something I always knew I was going to do. Growing up in a rural environment and loving the lifestyle, farming seemed like a natural choice.
Do I have any regrets? Not many. Sure I could have chosen another line of work, but for the life of me, I cannot think of anything I would rather do. Now that is not to say the act of farming is all there is to it. The most boring people I know have farming as their only interests. Sure I like working outside, feeding cattle, and producing something that everyone needs, but farming is only part of it. My real passion is for the entire rural lifestyle.
I've had urban friends ask, "How could you live in the middle of nowhere? You can't go to museums, restaurants, the theatre, etc," Yes I can, I just have to drive a bit further. What those same urban friends do not realize is that they cannot wake up to our sunrises, watch our sunsets, observe wildlife daily, smell the fresh-cut hay, see the stars on a moonless night, and pass people you always greet with a smile and a wave.
I cannot think of a better place to grow up than on a farm. As a boy, there was always something going on to keep a young mind and imagination busy. One of my few regrets was when I went off to college and did not play football. I signed a letter of intent and did the preseason training, but backed our when practice began because I thought I was needed on the farm. However, I continued on with school and a few weeks after I met my wife Roberta, and married two and a half years later. Out of that union, two sons were born who went on to become college athletes. Watching Cole play football and Jess run track and cross-country was way more enjoyable than doing it myself.
Looking to the future the family farm seems uncertain. Both of our sons have chosen different careers, away from farming, and that is fine. They need to follow their own dreams. But maybe, someday they will return to work the land that their great, great grandfathers farmed. If they do not, they can take with them the lessons they learned on the farm: a good work ethic, self-reliance, and strong family values. Something the whole world could use a little more of.
- Ted W Eberle