Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Serving: West
swfp-shelley-huguley-20-springkler-my-farmerr.jpg Shelley E. Huguley
My farmer servicing his sprinkler and getting it ready to irrigate for the 2020 season.

Finding joy in the unknowns

Unknowns require faith. While they can bring about sorrow, they can also deliver our greatest joy.

It's the beginning of another season. No matter how long I've been a farmer's wife, it seems like the next crop year comes around quicker than the one before. Didn't we just finish harvesting the 2019 crop?

Since harvest, my farmer has been brainstorming what the 2020 planting season might look like. He's been visiting with fellow farmers, his seed rep and running budgets, plus keeping an eye on what the weather might do three, six and nine months from now, which is anyone's guess. And hopefully he's reading his Southwest Farm Press for some added perspective! 

When we start a new year, I always have a bit of anxiety mixed with anticipation. The idea of starting new is exciting but the unknowns ahead also make me nervous. Will it rain? Will it be enough rain? Is it going to hail or will our crops get blown out by a windstorm? Will the pivots keep pace with summer's heat? Will the wells keep pumping? Will the equipment keep running or require expensive repairs? Will my farmer and son still like each other by summer's end? (Just joking, kind of.)

Farming unknowns seem to come harder for me than other unknowns. For example, when my farmer and I were having kids, we loved the thrill of not knowing if we were having a boy or a girl, although it drove everyone else crazy! I told my farmer, I could have 100 babies for that one moment when the doctor says, "It's a ____!" (My farmer said no, so we settled for three.) For nine months you nurture this little being inside of you not knowing their name, if you'll be braiding or buzzing their hair or dressing them in blue or pink. Beyond the martian-ultrasound image, you don't know what they look like and yet you are hopelessly in love!

Then when that moment arrives, it's unexplainable. Seeing their faces, cradling their tiny bodies and hearing their first cry and thinking, "So, that's who's been in there this whole time!" There's nothing quite like it.

People would ask, "If you don't know what you are having, how do you prepare?" Yellow, lots of yellow! We didn't have a particular name picked out, either. We wanted to see our child first and then name them. Their hospital nursery bands read "Baby Boy Huguley," or "Baby Girl Huguley," instead of their name because it usually took us 24 hours to decide. 

The truth is all the unknowns in our lives require faith. Unknowns can birth sorrow, but they can also bring us our greatest joy. While farming is risky, even painful at times, it's such a privilege to do what we do. While I don’t know what this year will hold, we'll take it seed by seed, day by day and anticipate the harvest!

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.