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This week's editorial

Editor Joan Ritchie's editorial from this week's issue of The Moose Jaw Express.

“Agriculture was the first occupation of man, and as it embraces the whole earth, it is the foundation of all other industries.” – Edward W. Stewart

We were on a roadtrip this past weekend and noticed farmers ‘outstanding in their fields’…busy seeding for the upcoming harvest.  

It got me to thinking…

We know that when we plant seeds, there will be a harvest of some kind, or at least we hope to have some reward for the effort.  The effort itself must start with optimism that the fruits of our labour will be rewarded in the harvest.  

"The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.” – Will Rogers

But the growing season takes some time and there are so many variables that can influence the yield and quality of the harvest.  Farmers are dependent on weather, moisture, soil condition, the effort put into it, the quality of the seed and much more.  Many of the variables can change from week to week to alter the perceived outcome.  It’s just a guessing game at the onset of how the harvest will be. 

It is remarkable, though, how there are so many things within the human psyche that able us and encourage us to do what we do optimistically, with hope…being defined as “an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: "expect with confidence" and "to cherish a desire with anticipation.”  

“Farming is a profession of hope.Brett Brian

And after the sowing, there needs to be a level of faith that there will be an outcome.  Faith being defined as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.”  I think almost everything we do in life requires a level of faith to see it through to fruition, although sometimes, that outcome may not be exactly what we were expecting.

“It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn.”B. C. Forbes

With perseverance (“persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”), and with great patience we still optimistically wait for the reward.  

“Life on a farm is a school of patience; you can’t hurry the crops or make an ox in two days.” Henri Alain

I guess that’s why I love the prairies and our hardy farmer folk, not only for what they do for their own livelihood, but in the long run, the benefits each and every one of us enjoys everyday. It’s been said, “As the farmer goes, so goes the breadbasket of the world…”   

In an article ‘Three times a day, you need a farmer’ – a phrase that says a lot…written by Brenda Schoepp, columnist of the Alberta Farmer Express, she says

“My grandfather used to say, “Once in your life you need a doctor, lawyer, policeman, or preacher but every day — three times a day — you need a farmer.”

How true this is!  I don’t think we can truly comprehend the enduring nature of a farmer and appreciate them for all they do.  

Essential for life and without it, the organism would cease to function…” describes the trace mineral, salt, found in every cell of our bodies. Farmers, like salt, are vital to our core existence. Everything we eat or drink depends on the commitment and ingenuity of today's farmers. They are the “salt of the earth.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.