In states that are agriculture centered, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just a fancy name for any other day. You maybe get a card, or a flower, or the newest item at the farm store thrown at you while you’re getting off the tractor.
For Mother’s Day, I was spreading granular fertilizer, putting on anhydrous, and cultivating. I missed the last showing of a movie at the theatre before they close for the summer because I wasn’t out of the field by 7:00 p.m. Last year, my son brought me a flower out to the tractor that he potted in school. He was so proud! It still sits in my kitchen window. I can’t keep flowers alive, much less for a year! So, I don’t dare transplant it.
For Father’s Day we will be at the Hawk Museum Antique tractor and threshing show volunteering.
The Saturday after Mother’s Day, we discovered a flat on my tractor, so I couldn’t go out to the field. My crabby sassy pants son, who I call Grace, and I were at the table with my daughter, and I told him we needed to run to the fertilizer plant to get a tire that daddy says is ours.
The exchange went something like this:
G: If you have a flat why don’t you just put duct tape on it…daddy puts it on to fix things.
Me: G you can’t put tape on a flat tire. As soon as you air it up it will blow the tape right off.
G: No, you sure don’t know anything about farming, and you’re supposed to be a farmHEERRRR. You fix it with duct tape.
Me: Flat tires don’t just happen on tractors, you can’t fix any tire with duct tape!
G: Sure. Whatever.
I think about the differences between FarmHers and Farmers. I think about how far we have come since women stepped up and took care of the farms when the men went off to war. I think about how almost everything I learned, physically and mentally, was from men. From operating machinery, fixing things, academics, FFA, livestock and how to back a trailer. It all came from male influences in my life. The women in my life taught me how to apply those things; how to be innovative when something needs fixing, how motherly instincts come into play while caring for livestock, and how to get all the farm things done and still have our roles as wives, mothers, business women, and volunteers.
We need both. We need those who can just go out and fix things and problems, but we also need those who can look into why, how, prevention, and outlooks. Many women and men have qualities that balance that.
When you take a step back and look at farms, families, businesses, and other situations where partnerships are involved, there are two different personalities. It’s not so one can dominate the other, it’s because like FarmHers and farmers, moms and dads, we complement each other, and we need each other.
Last week I needed my husband to walk me through hooking and unhooking tanks to our fertilizer cart, via technology. It was a team effort that I couldn’t have done alone and wouldn’t have attempted due to the safety issues that come with working with anhydrous. It’s a clear reminder that I personally know I couldn’t do all the farming alone and why I never say that I could. There is always room to learn and do more things every season. There’s also believing in yourself but there’s also believing that two is better than one and we don’t have to do it by ourselves, no matter if you’re the man or the woman! You can change the world girl, but we can’t do it alone.
Carie is the NDFB District 4 Promotion and Education Committee representative and president of N.D. Agri-Women. Carie and her family raise wheat, barley, soybeans and canola.