A Farmer’s Prayer (or Rancher’s Prayer)

Dear Lord, I don’t ask for too much
A happy family, rain, & such

But there is one thing I’d bring to your attention
So small, hardly worth a mention

That someday, when the land is paid
And our hair is gone or grayed

That, when we’re done with our turn on the land
It goes to others who understand

They plant a miracle with each and every seed
An unsuspecting world’s hopes and dreams

It takes special people to comprehend
That flood & drought are part of Your plans

May it be people wise enough to take pity
On those in supermarket aisles in the city

Many of which are so unaware
Of the Great Cycle in which they share

Dear Lord, they are so many and we are so few
May our replacements not despair as we sometimes do

Or take a walk in grass so tall
That next year, becomes a new shopping mall

May their children grow up to see the reward
In the hard day’s work their friends ignored

I know this is a lot Lord, there’s just one more thing
That these people see the reward this job brings

It won’t be trophies or plaques on the wall
There may never be a single “thank you” at all

There will be times when they lose sight
Of why they watched over this cow all night

As she delivers that calf and then just dies
Please step in and answer their “Why’s”

We’re a dying breed and we need them all
Another generation to carry the ball

A respect for your ways and love of the land
Just can’t be found in corporate plans

Please dear Lord, I know this is bold,
But grant me this peace as I’m growing old,

The knowledge another family will follow our way
And care for this land ‘til their dying day.

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About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at http://aldersonangus.wordpress.com.
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7 Responses to A Farmer’s Prayer (or Rancher’s Prayer)

  1. Jo Ann says:

    A beautiful poem. We need many more people who think as you do. Although I never had a farm operation of any size, I’ve tended gardens and raised livestock so I can appreciate the hard and demanding lifestyle of the farmer.

  2. Pingback: Gifts Passed On | The Tomboy Tales

  3. Betty Price says:

    Av Friend of mine shared this….I am a farm daughter, wife and Mother to the next generation of farmer/ rancher. This poem is so true! I find it harder to watch my son’s struggles and yet I don’t remember us ever being ready to give up…guess we believed whatever it is it is! Thank you for putting it into words!

  4. What a beautiful poem! I am an ranch/agricultural artist and would be interested in talking with you about the possibility of working together on a project. Please, visit my website to view my work and feel free to email me if you would be interested in hearing more details on my idea.
    Thanks and keep up the beautiful writing!
    Michelle
    http://www.webercustompainting.com

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