Leave a Legacy
Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project. He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.
We Are American Farmers
Apr 02, 2010
A few years back, while browsing around a small town antique store, my wife Anne-Marie stumbled upon a certificate from a magazine - preserved in a simple wooden frame. If the well-worn frame was any indication, this piece had adorned the wall of some farm family’s kitchen for decades.
We’ll never know how many may have paused to reflect upon these thoughts – the neighbors’ children, the parents’ friends, the family themselves. Nor do we know who penned the words. Now, however, almost 60 years later, the values of the American farmer still ring true.
It is our privilege to share with you, “We are American Farmers” – from Farm Journal, February 1952.
"We are American farmers. We are Americans. We are farmers.
Our grandsires freed this virgin continent, plowed it from East to West, and gave it to us. This land for us and for our children to make richer and more fruitful.
We grow foods, fibers – fifteen times as much as we use.
We grow men and women – farmers, Presidents and Senators, generals of industry, captain of commerce, missionaries, builders.
Communists would call us capitalists, because we own land and we own tools.
Capitalists might choose to call us laborers, because we work with our hands.
Others may call us managers, because we direct men and manage materials.
Our children call us “Dad.”
We are also deacons, stockholders, mechanics, veterinarians, electricians, school board members, Rotarians, voters, scientists, neighbors, men of good will.
Our rules are Nature’s rules, the laws of God.
We command the magic of the seasons and the miracles of science, because we obey Nature’s rules.
Our raw materials are soil and seed, animals, the atmosphere and the rain,and the mighty sun.
We work with brains. We toil with muscles of steel, fed by the fires of lightning and by oils from the inner earth.
We are partners with the laboratory, with the factory, and with all the people.
We provide industry with ever-renewable raw materials from the inexhaustible world of plants. We buy products from the labor of every fellow-citizen.
Our efficiencies have raised great cities and happy towns, and have given all the people meat and bread.
We believe in work and in honor.
We believe in freedom.
We are grateful for the American freedom that has let us earn so many blessings.
We know that liberty is our most precious possession. At the ballot-boxes and on the battlefield we shall defend it.
We have proven a new pattern of abundance. We pray that we may also help to make a pattern for peace."
Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service