Sponsored By
Farm Progress

What I learned walking 2,400 steps with a farmerWhat I learned walking 2,400 steps with a farmer

Fear almost made me miss a meeting, a conversation and a walk with a stranger.

July 13, 2018

3 Min Read
WALKING SHOES: My fitness goal includes walking the Katy Trail near Treloar, Mo. Along my way I usually see cyclists and a few joggers — but one day, I ran into a farmer. So we walked awhile.

I was almost to the halfway point on my run-walk along the Katy Trail. I had just made the clearing where tall, tasseling green corn plants grew on each side of the path. As I neared the gravel road, I spotted a small gray pickup truck.

My first thought was, someone is checking the fields. But as I stepped across the road to the next trail section, I could see someone walking in the distance. No one else had been on the trail all morning. For a moment, I paused, then continued. As the figure drew closer, I could tell it was a man. I caught a glimpse of his signature pair of bib overalls. When our paths finally met, he stopped. I pulled out my earbuds. He greeted me. “Good morning.”

I replied with a morning greeting and asked if he was trying to beat the heat by walking early. He was. Then he asked, “Where are you headed?” I told him just up to another clearing where the orange snow fence is, because it marks the halfway point of my 5-mile trek. “Well, I’ll just walk with you,” he replied.

Off we went. We must’ve looked like Mutt and Jeff. He was tall, about 6½ feet, and slender. And well, I was 5 feet and not so svelte — thus the reason for the exercise. He shared about his diabetes, and how the daily walks keep his numbers in check because he “likes to eat.”

I asked if he was a farmer. Turns out his whole family farms in the Missouri River bottoms in southern Warren County, Mo. But after years of flooding and packing up the house, he and his wife moved to higher ground in nearby Concord Hill, Mo.

We talked about our mutual friends in the small town. I learned his grandchildren were playing sports in high school, and how he watched the boys we get hay from play as well.

He shared about his years as a drywaller, and then laughed when I told of my husband’s DIY drywall projects — still unfinished.

“It’s not as easy as it looks on TV,” I added.

As we approached the cornfields, we discussed this year’s conditions and crop potential. He remained optimistic. At the crossroads, he set off to his truck. “Maybe we will walk together again sometime,” he added.

“That would be nice,” I responded.

With all the things going on in the world today, it is nice to just meet someone, walk a few steps and chat. However, there is always that moment that makes you stop. I had it. Right before I crossed the road. Did you catch it? I paused. It is called fear.

Don’t get me wrong; we need to take precautions. Some call it listening to their conscience. I am a person of faith, so I view it differently. In my moment, I heard this: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and sound judgement,” from 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT). So I pressed on.

Please do not let fear stop you from life. On that day, I turned off my electronics, tuned in to my surroundings and had genuine human interaction with a stranger. However, walking 2,400 steps with a farmer always feels like catching up with my extended agriculture family.

The second half of my walk was quicker, lighter. I smiled more. My prayer is that he did as well. Perhaps we both were blessed that day.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like