When Does the Farmer Title Fit?

What is the threshold of traits that make a person a full-fledged farmer? (DTN photo by Jennifer Campbell)

I am a farmer's daughter. My Dad was a farmer.

I am a farmer's wife. My husband is a farmer.

I am a farm mom; we raised our kids on our working family farm.

I am confident in these titles, but I have literally spent years wondering if I am a farmer.

Society seems to put a lot of weight in titles, but I seldom care what others think. So why do I question if I'm worthy?

I can plant a field of soybeans adjusting the planter as needed. I can fill a semi using the grain cart with the best of the best, and I don't spill grain. I can feed livestock, clean up after them, help them give birth and care for them when they are sick. I can handle FSA paperwork with a smile.

But, there are the hard moments when I wonder if I deserve the title, like when I can't solve a mechanical problem. Or, the heart-breaking instances when I lose an animal in my care. Or, times when the earth is so hard and dry that the planter can barely scratch a seed below the surface, and other points when the crop I planted literally drowns and dies.

I don't really know when one earns the farmer title, but I feel all the things that should make it real deep in my gut and soul. I've prayed for rain and found myself crying when the sky finally opened up. I've nursed multiple calves and piglets back to life. I've spent exhausting hours in a tractor when I wanted to go home and sleep.

Does it tip the scales when you feel your failures as much as your accomplishments? I'm positive the title won't matter when I am standing at the pearly gates. Maybe all that really matters is loving what you do and feeling lucky to do it.

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Jennifer (Jent) Campbell has earned her farmer title working on the Indiana family farm. She also writes a blog called Farm Wife Feeds (https://www.farmwifefeeds.com/…). Follow her on Twitter @plowwife and on the podcast @girlstalkag

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