Anyone can call themselves a farmer but that doesn’t always mean they’re a real farmer. To use an ag analogy, it’s kind of like separating the wheat from the chaff – separating the real farmers from the hasbeens or the wannabes. This blog post is dedicated to a real farmer – my dad – who turns 60 years old today. My dad Don grew up on a farm just a few miles from the U.S. border near Snowflake, Manitoba, and he’s spent the majority of his life there pursuing his passion of farming. He’s the oldest of eight children, four of which went into farming. While his younger farming brothers have semi-retired and moved off the farm, he remains on the farm. Every day he immerses himself in the business of farming whether it be marketing and hauling grain, feeding cows, fixing machinery and much more.
My dad enjoys spending long hours in the fall harvesting the grain that will help feed the world. He can often be seen chugging along in his red Case IH combine, most likely listening to country radio or Blue Jays baseball. Whenever I hear Craig Morgan’s song, International Harvester, I think of my dad.
I’m the son of a 3rd generation farmer
I’ve been married 10 years (make that 38 years) to the farmer’s daughter
I’m a God fearin’ hard workin’ combine driver
Hoggin’ up the road on my p-p-p-p-plower
Chug a lug a luggin’ 5 miles an hour
On my International Harvester
Besides grain farming, my dad also has cattle. Anyone who knows a thing or two about farming will tell you that cattle are hard work – more work than grain farming. Over the years my dad has been referred to as Dr. Don in connection with the cattle. He has an incredible amount of patience when it comes to getting a newborn calf to suck. During the winter he keeps busy feeding the cows , bedding straw, pulling calves, and administering meds to sick animals. His animals are well cared for.
And then there’s the odd jobs. A real farmer always finds something to do on the farm. There’s always something that needs to be fixed or cleaned up.
My dad doesn’t like to be away from the farm for long periods of time. He’s most content when he’s on the farm working. That’s a sign of a real farmer. He takes great pride in his work and I know there’s nothing he’d rather do. So here’s to a real farmer. Happy 60th Birthday Dad!