Spring field work is going to be a few short days or weeks away which means those of us in the Ag industry are busy dealing with the pre-plant rush to apply dry fertilizer. This is a stressful and busy time, but there are large stretches of time where one can sit and ponder life while sitting in the tender truck on the edge of a field. This past week I did just that and in one instance I sat and watched a local farmer with the newest equipment spreading manure on his fields. It reminded me of growing up on the farm and being old enough to drive the B Farmall and to find my own self starter motivation.
We had an old New Holland manure spreader that had a wood bottom and wasn’t very tall, but the B could pull it and run it and I had decided that our large brick barn needed a good cleaning. I can’t even begin to guess how many years it has been since it had been cleaned but the floor was finally found about two feet down. This of course, was in the days before barns were built with large enough access doors to fit a skid loader through, so the work was all done with a pitchfork and scoop shovel and pitched out of the window into the waiting spreader. After the load was finished one would hop on the B and head out for the pasture and engage the PTO which set into motion the blades of death and we would drive along with our heads ducking the few hard pieces that were thrown forward instead of out the back end.
It wasn’t one of those fun tasks I did as a child, but it was one that needed done and looking back I think I was most happy about the sense of accomplishment when I could once again see the concrete floor of the barn. Not only was the barn clean but the grass in the pasture was fed by the nutrients of the manure which eventually would make the grass grow tall, feeding the animals and setting the entire circle into motion.
Our lives are like that somewhat. We all have manure that piles up in our lives and no matter how much we try to clean the barns of our lives out, the manure continues to find its way back into our lives. But it isn’t all bad, because in the end the manure we deal with makes us grow, it enriches us and sets into motion our own circle. I think the key in the end is to make sure we take time now and then to clean out the manure and not to let it pile up so much that we find ourselves three feet under it. And that my friends is something you never want to happen. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.