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CAN-DO LIFE VIEW: These farmers know it helps maneuver the ups and downs of business and life.

What keeps these 42 farmers upbeat on ag

Poll results: 42 farmers share these nuggets of wisdom and helpful sanity-soothers.

Despite historically narrow profit margins, Northeast farmers are a resilient bunch — thanks to wisdom-sparked enthusiasm. That’s why Farm Progress asked 225 mostly farmers (men and women) attending the New York Farm Show the same question: “What positive wisdom has helped you?”

Many shared passed-down wisdoms, inspirations from others and lessons learned from life. We couldn’t include all responses, but you’ll come away feeling more upbeat from at least a few of them:

From Amenia, N.Y.: “Know your strengths. Hire people to do what you don’t do well.”

From Bethlehem, Conn.: “Work on a family farm.”

From Attica, N.Y.: “No decision is still a decision, so control your life through decision.”

From Weedsport, N.Y.: “No matter where you go, there you are.”

From Manheim, Pa.: “Don’t be greedy; learn to anticipate supply-demand changes.”

From Delanson, N.Y.: “Believe in God. Don’t smoke. Work hard. Love your woman!”

From Waltham, Vt.: “Never learn to do something you don’t want to have to do.”

From Port Byron, N.Y.: “Always try to leave things better than you found them!”

From Cambridge, N.Y.: “If you don’t take a step to improve, you’ll always be a step behind.”

From Mifflintown, Pa.: “Be honest and clean-speaking.”

From Canton, Ohio: “Life comes one day at a time; live it that way.”

From Fulton, N.Y.: “Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut.”

From Camden, N.J.: “Smile. It’s free and doesn’t cost anything to give away.”

From Roxbury, N.H.: “Follow your dreams!”

From Rushville, N.Y.: “Help your neighbor and you will be helped someday.”

From Newfield, Pa.: “Remember, most people are good, just not perfect.”

From Freeville, N.Y.: “The best manures in the fields are the farmers’ footsteps.”

From Clayville, N.Y.: “Endure the bad days; treasure the good ones.”

From Belvidere, N.J: “Stay ambitious; never lapse into laziness.”

From Himrod, N.Y.: “Enjoy your work and do something that makes you feel good.”

From Niveveh, N.Y.: “Be a professional.”

From Owego, N.Y.: “Mother always said, ‘A fool’s wit comes late.’”

From Whitingham, Vt.: “Involve youth in your operation.”

From Elmer, N.J.: “Don’t buy it if you can’t afford it.”

From Greene, N.Y.: “Always believe you can succeed! Be kind to others.”

From Freeville, N.Y.: “Everything is temporary; be patient.”

From Edmesdon, N.Y.: “Help those who cannot help themselves.”

From Macedon, N.Y.: “Love each new day and enjoy what you’re doing.”

From Middleburg, Pa.: “Always think ahead!”

From Northeast. Pa.: “Never give up on your dreams, but be adaptable.”

From Lorraine, N.Y.: “Don’t worry about what you can’t control.”

From North Blandford, Mass.: “Do your best to start each day with a positive event.”

From Moravia, N.Y.: “Live for today; tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.”

From New Hartford, N.Y.: “Live like you won’t live forever.”

Faith and scriptural thoughts
From Argyle, N.Y.: “Trust in the Lord. He’ll always carry you through.”

From Troy, N.H.: “Read the Bible daily.”

From Warners, N.Y.: “No matter how crazy things seem, God’s still in control.”

From Berwick, Pa.: “Find a church that grows on you.”

From Poland, N.Y.: Proverbs 3: 5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

From Richford, N.Y.: “Do unto others as you would want to be done for you.”

From Gilboa, N.Y.: “Except the Lord build a house, they labor in vain that build it. (Psalm 127)

Maybe the best for last...
From Snydertown, Pa.: “Every morning, I wake up here in rural America — not 200 years ago, not in Syria, Afghanistan, Siberia, North Korea, Mozambique or even Venezuela. So laugh; it helps.”

Have a reaction to these wisdoms? We’d like to hear it. Email your responses to

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