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Happy Father's Day, dadsHappy Father's Day, dads

I'm thankful for my farmer and the countless dads I've had the privilege of interviewing and photographing. Dads, never doubt that your hard work, sacrifice and love matter. You're a big deal!

Shelley E. Huguley

June 16, 2023

13 Slides

Yesterday as I was driving home from the field after helping my farmer check a sprinkler, I was listening to music. My Pandora sing-along session was suddenly interrupted by an ad. (It's safe to sing out loud when you're driving the side-by-side. No one but God can hear you and he says it's all a "joyful noise," so you're safe!)

The ad was for a big chain home remodeling store. The premise of the ad was to buy tools or supplies for dad so he could do more... more than what he's already doing.

I don't know about your farmer, but mine does not need more projects or things to do. And honestly, he sure doesn't need another tool. In fact, there's a saying in our house that "Dad can fix anything," but I'm not sure he wouldn't mind sharing some of that glory with someone else! Tired or not, stressed or not, busy or not, he always comes through. He truly can fix anything.

What my farmer needs is rest and relaxation, a way to turn his brain off for two seconds, but that's hard to come by during a planting season that began in another year of drought only to be doused by more than half our annual rainfall in a matter of weeks, pushing planting to mid-June, rather than May. We will take rainfall over drought any day! It's changed the mood in our household and within our farming community. Hope is a powerful thing!

Related:Three things I’ve learned from Dad

The last couple of months, I've watched my farmer stand at our daughter's college graduation with pride in his heart and tears in his eyes as they called her name and she walked the stage. I witnessed a similar reaction a week later as our son made his way down the auditorium aisle for high school graduation at his dad's alma mater. And the ache in his heart as his baby girl walked out in a blue dress for her first formal banquet. Why is it so hard to see the youngest grow up?

These are the faces of his hard work, who motivate him to persevere when he's facing yet another year of drought, high input prices and volatile markets -- all things out of his control. These are the faces that he faithfully returns home to each night, only to get back up and do it all again.

This weekend we celebrate dads. I celebrate my farmer but I also celebrate the countless dads I've had the opportunity to interview or photograph. I've included a few in this slideshow. Thank you dads for all you do! I've said it before, but you're a big deal. Your role in our lives matters. The sacrifices you make to invest in and provide for your family are not wasted nor go unnoticed.

Some will celebrate their dads in person, others through Facetime or a phone call and yet there will be those who will remember with nostalgia and grief as their dads have passed on. May you be comforted.

Related:Dads: You're a big deal

Happy Father's Day to our dads out there! We appreciate all that you do! And remember, you're a big deal!

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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