Over the years, I've collected more than a handful of photos that I love. You know the ones: they speak to your heart, they take you back and they're everything you know to be right and true in the world.
My column for June is all about farm dads and the impact they have on their sons and daughters. I wanted a photo to run with it and I knew exactly the one: a 1970s vintage square photo of my dad holding me on the back of a Shorthorn heifer at the Edwards County fairgrounds. There are lots of things I love all in that one picture, including my dad, a Shorthorn and the fact that those are the very same stalls we used all through my youth in that very same barn. Many shenanigans took place in that very spot. Plus, it was Instagram before Instagram was cool.
As I was digging it out (from deep within my circa 1994 Shorthorn Lassie Queen scrapbook, yes, sir), I thought a lot about the photos I've taken of farmers and their sons and daughters over the years. A shot of Joe Webel and his son, Jack, waving to the combine during harvest is one of my favorites. And so is the shot of Scott and Chase Olson during planting - where 8-year-old Chase managed to be home from school when I was there, complete with his John Deere t-shirt and Burrus seed cap.
Think about what those little guys are going to learn as they grow. The decisions those dads make and the lessons they pass on will echo for generations, across families and acres. It's a terrific responsibility.
With your help, I'd like to celebrate our farming dads throughout the week of Father's Day. Think about the photos you have and what they say, and choose your favorite to email to me by June 12. Tell me a little about the dad and son/daughter in the photo, and maybe a favorite piece of sage "Dad advice" he's passed along.
I'll share them throughout the week leading up to Father's Day, and we can all celebrate the impact our dads have on us, our families and our farms!