Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Most people associate "the most wonderful time of the year" with Christmas. I would beg to differ, however. Around here, fall seems to be a perfectly fantastic season.

Farmers' lives revolve around three main seasons: planting season (otherwise known as spring), harvest season (you might call it fall), and fixing-everything-that-broke-during-the-year season (yep, farmers even work in the winter!). Their livelihoods revolve around getting crops into the ground in a timely manner in the spring, caring for them over the summer, and taking them off in the fall. To many, fall is a celebration of the long hours and hard work during other times of the year.

We began taking off soybeans this week. Soybeans are a common crop grown in Ohio. In 2009, they were Ohio's largest commodity. One of the most important uses is as livestock feed. Livestock farmers and grain farmers depend on each other; the livestock farmers need the crops the grain farmers grow for feed, and the grain farmers need the livestock farmers so they have a market for their crops. There are other cool uses for soybeans, too: biodiesel and lubricants, foams, inks, and even crayons. One acre of soybeans can produce 82368 crayons!

But, back to why fall is an awesome season. It's hard to describe the pride that farmers take in their work. The blood, sweat, and tears that go into growing livestock and crops is not to be underestimated. We all like to see results, and farmers are no different. It's exciting to know that the crops you are taking off are a result of the time you spent planting, spraying, and scouting fields. It's a great sense of accomplishment to see those long hours pay off. Sure, harvesting crops takes time, but it's what we do, and we wouldn't trade it for a second.

All seasons are great on the farm, but we tend to think that fall is pretty darn wonderful.