It’s that time of year where we are headed out to the field each morning and come in late at night. Laundry gets sorted by how dirty it is instead of colors, bedtime is by the sun, and kids are miniature versions of us helping to undertake spring tasks on the farm.
When I grew up our table was either a TV tray in the living room, a tailgate of a pickup in the field, or the local restaurant. No matter what, we shared a table, as a family. Today our family’s table could be a tractor cab, shop bench, combined field, restaurant, barn, cooler lid, the kitchen table, you name it. Sometimes it might be a bed at midnight with a frozen pizza after we get in from chores.
To our household, family meals are important. Families that eat meals together are more connected and open. It is something we believe in and make happen as much as possible, EVEN during farming’s crunch times. Someone eats with the kids if possible, for at least supper. Same goes for the children. If they don’t eat what’s made or take the cold cereal option, they sit at the table as well. It may mean we split the kids in equipment and have one-on-one time, but it’s a priority to make sure the kids know family is there for them and can stop for 10-minutes to hear what they have to say. You never know what you’re going to hear. It also seems the best meals are the ones that involve a little crop dust or animal odor lingering nearby.
Faith, family, and farming, are important to many of us. When it comes down to it, stopping the tractor for 20 minutes hasn’t made anyone lose a crop, but it has hurt families. With the rise of depression and usage of opioids in the ag world today, that 20 minutes could very well brighten an eight-year-old to an 80-year old’s day. That’s whatmakes any farm family and family farm successful.
Just before Mother’s Day I came home and jumped in the tractor. My six-year-old was walking across the yard toward me with flowers they had planted in school that day. I yelled out the door, “Just go back to grandma’s. I’ll be back in a bit.” He turned around and I saw his little head go down. I instantly jumped out of the tractor and ran over to him and said, “Hey buddy, what’s this? Are they for me?” His face lit up and I realized AGAIN, how impressionable our kids are, and the importance of just taking that couple extra minutes.
With Father’s Day around the corner, take a special meal out to dad and grandpa and let them know you miss them and love them.
It’s not always about what you eat, but whom you eat it with. For you it may be the back of an SUV at a baseball game, a blanket at the park, a picnic table at a campground, a towel at the pool, but no matter what it looks like, if you’re eating with your family, it’s a family table.
Carie Moore is Vice-Chair/Dist. 4 rep on the NDFB P&E Committee. She is active in organizing women in ag events, local leadership, working with cover crops, and soybean production. She works full time for her county Soil Conservation Dist. and farms with her family.