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My grandpa Hanon was a farmer.  He wore bib overalls and flannel shirts and a denim chore jacket that was missing a button. He closed it with a nail.

I remember his sheep that he sheared by hand with a hand clipper.  His love of John Deere tractors made life a little easier. Once he even hung corn in the grainery to be saved for seed, germinating them in a wet towel to see what percentage of the seed grew.

He mixed a home brew for his white pigs out of ground feed and milk, along with a yeast compound. He filled his own silo, and threshed his own grain with a huge machine. 

He had wide hands that weren't necessarily dirty, just brown and scarred with thick chipped nails and calluses. He picked corn by hand, cultivated, and chopped thistles, burdocks and rag weed with a hoe or a scythe. He pitched hay and straw by hand. He also milked by hand too and turned the crank on the separator.

It was hard work, but a perfect world for one to communicate with God. Things are different now and easier in some respects, but there is still no man who lives as close to God as farmers. That will never change. True farmers are born with a love for the land.

It takes a lot of faith to invest a half million dollars in a piece of machinery, then put in hundreds of dollars in seed, not knowing what the outcome may be.

But the future belongs to those who are willing to work for it and through time, invention and money have lessened some of the toil and struggle for farmers today. Faith has brought them through tough times.

Come to think of it, there is something about farming that is reality. Without it, there would be nothing. How a farmer’s life goes, so goes the world.

If I were a poet, I would write an ode to the American Farmer. At the very least, I will say a prayer for his health, safety and profession.

Farming is also a family affair.  You either have it or you don't, that desire to find joy in not by which you own, but in what you are. 

It has been said that God made top soil so farmers could grow good children. And I really do think the kid who loves the farm is amazing, as they develop that same "get the job done" attitude.

All farmers should be proud that they can provide the setting for children to experience every aspect of life in a positive way.  Birth, play, work, failure, success, death and heavenly rewards are all woven into the fabric of farm life. Farming may not always be the best of times, but it is the best of lives.

It is the American farmer’s spirit of determination, adventure, and eternal optimism that enables us to not only feed the nation, but it’s worth as well. The highest reward for farmer’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it. 

We know He will help us bear what comes - joy or sorrow, high prices or low.

A farmer knows deep in his heart he could never be truly happy anywhere else; for the satisfaction or being on the land, working the soil, he will handle whatever comes his way.

In farming, one also experiences the miracles of new beginnings, waiting for the seeds to sprout, and the farm animals to be born.

I hope that all children have the opportunity to see the baby animals as they wag their tails, squeal for food and nurse their mothers. It puts meaning to life.

Even my greenhouse friend says the most exciting time for her is when the little plants start to emerge from the seeds planted in the soil.

Birthdays and anniversaries:

• Thursday, June 2nd: Maia Kathleen Peterson, Brent Dobberstein, Angie Goodnature Kath, Taylor Draayer, Sue Jensen Kuckenbecker, Steve Kasper, Cindy Olson, Barry Esplan, Krystle Lonning, Ahston Haried, Trent Hanson, Brandon McLaughlin, Tammy & Garth Gonnering, Greg & Nicole Shultz, Eric & Snow Lee, their 3rd

• Friday, June 3rd: Isabella Grace Kohn, her 1st; Devin Matthew Haddy, his 4th; Justin Stieglbauer, David Hall, Troy Vavra, Donald Peterson, Jason Jenkins, Michael Bartness, Angie Kasper Christenson, George Kasper, Chrisopher Conley, Max Miller, Esther Van Ravenhorst, Misty (Ebnet) & Jeremy Krueger, Eric & Christine Nelson

• Saturday, June 4th: Dale Miller, Becky Nordland, Jim Borchert, Judith Severson, Warren Nelson, Jamie & Tina Hagen, Art & Doris DeNeui, Jan & Andrew Bernau, their 4th

• Sunday, June 5th: Ann Wallace, Beulah Crabtree, Marcia Vermedahl, Shawn Johnson, Paul Krull, David Reistad, Mike Rossing, Lisa Jensen Nord, Jack Butler, Greg Oswald, Michael Schmidt, Ron & Jolee Johnson, Stacy (Osmundson) & Trevor Titus, Erica (Van Kampen) & Jacob McClaskay, Elzo & Joy Peterson

• Monday, June 6th: Steve & Kari Vanden Heuvel, Stacy & Shannon Wobschall, Dean & Roberta Lembke, Hope Kilian, Eric Sorenson, Cheryl Louks, Steve Lonning, Todd Born, Owen James Wheeler, Blake Rolland Baudoin, Isiah DuBois

• Tuesday, June 7th: Chris Blouin, Daniel Eliason, Jesse Langlie, Roger Sommers, Faye Thompson, Paul Stollard, Trisha (Gross) Gilbertson, Brandon Gross, Katie (Klemmensen) & Kevin Knudson, Holly (Wangsness) & Jake Dau, Richard & Karen Holmes, Irvin & Joan Diderrich, Richard & Bonnie Peterson, Jeff & Lynne Draayer, Jim & Joanne Pichner

• Wednesday, June 8th: Deb Wallace, Steve Hagen, Owen Ryan Krueger, Monty Miller, Sandi Meyer, Rodney Wayne, Steve Lembke, Morgan Hutchinson, Michelle & Damon Gowlland

• Thursday, June 9th: Torsten & Melissa Wayne, Rhonda (Lund) & Troy Thevenot, LeRoy & Gladys Peterson, Lexi Wayne, Ahinka Jensen, Sharon Lageson, Bennett Ver Hey, Carrie Paulson, Karen Swearingen Cox, Dana Waltz, Greg Smith, Tait Ingvaldson, Kenny Toft

• Friday, June 10th: Arnold Lund, his 91st; Warren Wayne, Samantha Mae Schumacher, Kathy Allard, David Ellis, Chuck Groth, Jamie Weller, Margaret Reese, Forest Peterson, Adam Wacek, London Avery, Sarah (Cornelius) & Rob Routh, Marv & Pat Schulz, Missy (Lonning) & Paul Richards

May you find joy and pleasure all around you on your special day.

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