Farms are already great

Scott farm in Clark County, Kansas around 1900.

The other day I noticed a sticker on the pickup in front of me that said “Make farms great again” and my knee-jerk reaction to it was “they already are!”

Sure I may be biased being raised on a southwest Kansas farm myself. But agriculture is an awesome way to live and raise a family. Often you hear farmers and ranchers describe themselves as a third, fourth, fifth or even sixth generation. Honestly, I had to put pen to paper and do a little bit of investigating to see what generation I would be. 

That thought lead me down a rabbit hole of obituaries and a makeshift family tree. I didn’t go too far back, only to my great-grandparents on my dad’s side. Finding the word “farmer” didn’t take very long. His grandparents were long gone before I was born, but my grandmother’s dad John Henry Drewes was born in Germany and was a farmer there. When he made it to the United States, he worked on his aunt and uncle’s farm in Missouri. By 1916 he’d made it to western Kansas and eventually had his own farm. I believe my cousin still has some of the original farmland. 

On my husband’s dad’s side, the Scott family farm has been in the family more than 100 years. He tells tales of his great-grandfather feeding horses in the old red barn before his day of hard labor. His grandfather Carl spent his entire lifetime on the farm and in the house he was born in. Part of the farm burned in the Starbuck fire that devastated much of Clark County in 2017. His grandmother Pauline spent the majority of her life in Clark County too, and she hailed from farmers of her own. 

Often the generational farms grow and change with the times. Others can’t keep up. But does that make them any less than the ones that cover thousands of acres and have spanned generations? Definitely not.

Those of us lucky enough to live agriculture every day find something satisfying about a long day spent on the farm or ranch. Whether it’s on a tractor tilling the soil or planting the next crop or horseback gathering cattle and sorting calves off to be sold. A farm or ranch is what the people working it make of it. Any farm is great, along with the people who own, work and live on them.

What makes your farm or farm people great?