Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Harvest Struggle

It’s another dreary, cold, windy November day. I address issues at work via the phone while I sit at the kitchen table; it’s frustrating and tiring but I am warm and dry.

I look out across the field to see Blake and his crew from Heller Farms lifting sugar beets in the south field. The fall has been wet and dreary. Harvest is a month behind schedule. Farmers have fought mud, rain, snow and high moisture crops. Profit margins are disappearing if not already gone. Drying costs and field loss from a month too long in the field has taken $80 to $100 an acre from the bottom line.

The men and women who farm, those who provide us with food and fiber, have had a monumental struggle. We have had over 16 inches of rain since it started to rain after a cool, dry summer. The farmers work 18 hour days fighting mud and mess. The mud puts added stress on the equipment causing break downs, adding more stress to an already over-stretched fall schedule.

If you are a farmer in West Central Minnesota this fall, you have been cold, wet, tired and fed up with everything but you cannot quit and you must carry on no matter how depressing the situation.

Farmers provide food and fiber not only for us but also for people in other countries. On the whole, their hard work and sacrifice goes unnoticed. Dr. Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, also known as bio-tech farming, and the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work in plant genetics said this: “You can’t build a peaceful world on empty stomachs and human misery.” We have Norman Borlaug to thank and every farmer who uses his advanced plant genetics. American farmers, thank you for enduring your private misery so the world can be well fed and warm.

In these days, we have some well fed, often overweight people complain about bio-technology farming. Dr. Borlaug said this:

Most Western environmentalists "have never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 50 years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists in wealthy nations were trying to deny them these things."

Despite the private misery of Western Minnesota farmers, most of us will sit down to a “more than adequate” Thanksgiving dinner. Will we stop for a moment and be appreciative for the personal sacrifice made by the American farmers and their families? We owe them a debt of gratitude. Thank you to all you “tillers of the soil.”

May we all be grateful this Thanksgiving Day. Thank you Lord, for giving us men and women willing to endure mud, cold, and rainy, dreary, long days and nights. May the Lord’s peace, strength and protection be with them this fall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May you and Judi have a blessed Thanksgiving and holiday season. I give thanks for your ministry and want you to know I find much comfort, yet questions when I follow your blog. I hope that is the point of these "sermons".