So God made a farmer
And now the rest of the story.
As our staff prepared the annual spring farm tab, which is one of our largest publications of the year and comes out this week to rural residents, I came across something that intrigued me from the late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey, who famously coined the phrase, “and now the rest of the story,” during his broadcasts.
Harvey gave a speech at the 1978 Future Farmers of America convention and it was first published in his syndicated column in 1986. It was given as an extension of the Genesis creation narrative referring to God’s actions on the eighth day of creation.
He described the characteristics of a farmer in each phrase and ended them with the recurring “So God Made a Farmer.”
The speech was even used in a commercial by Ram trucks during Super Bowl XLVII, featuring photographs of rural America set to the narration of a portion of Harvey’s speech.
I’d like to share with you some excerpts from Harvey’s speech. “On the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker.’ So God made a Farmer.”
“God said, ‘I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk the cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.’ So God made a Farmer.”
“I need somebody with arms strong enough to wrestle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild; somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to await lunch until his wife’s done feeding the ladies, then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon, and mean it. So God made a Farmer.”
“God said, ‘I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to wean lambs and pigs and tend to pink combed pullets; who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadowlark … Somebody who would bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing; who would laugh and then sigh, and reply with smiling eyes when his son says he wants to spend his life doing what dad does. So God made a Farmer.”
The essence of this speech underscores the importance of agriculture. Farmers are vital to our country. Agriculture is the backbone to the nation. The benefits are significant, including providing livelihood to people, helping in economic development, contributing towards the national income and perhaps most importantly, offering food security for most of us.
With spring right around the corner, it’s a great time to look forward with optimism for our farm friends.
Farmers are important because they work hard on their farms and they grow plenty of crops for us.
I grew up on a farm and recognize the sacrifices my father made to help our country. He dedicated more than half a century of his life to working the land and raising purebred hogs. I am proud of my farm heritage and the values I learned on the farm, which have stayed with me throughout my entire life. I admire all those who have committed their lives to agriculture.
It’s time to go in hot pursuit of recognizing God’s eighth-day creation, as Harvey referred to it years ago. So now you have the rest of the story, as Harvey said so often.