"What is the single best decision you have ever made in farming?" Just fewer than 20 people wrote on this topic, and a panel of three judges reflected on the submitted essays. Essays were required to be 250 to 300 words.
Winners will be rewarded with CountryMark's Super Dieselex-4 fuel. Personal delivery of 500 gallons goes to the winner. Second place will receive 250 gallons, and third place will win 100 gallons of fuel.
The order of the winners will be announced in the July issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer, due out next week. In the meantime, we're going to show you the top three adult essays. Judge for yourself, and see how the results stack up when the magazine arrives in your mailbox.
In this article, here is the first essay. It's from Mike Feitshans, Arcanum, Ohio. He saw information on the contest in his Heart Land Co-op newsletter. The Co-op serves many customers in east-central Indiana and also serves customers in Ohio.
"The best decision that I ever made in farming was to learn to follow in my three father's footsteps. At an early age, I followed my grandfather, as he taught me the physical part to farming. I was by his side from morning to dusk, in those summer months, as we carried out daily farm chores.
He taught me safety on the farm, and how important it was to think about the consequences of your actions. He taught me to operate the tractors, hoe in the fields, maintain equipment and build things with my hands. He was a patient man that had great abilities to teach and encourage.
With his passing my own father became the teacher. He taught me the business end of farming. He involved me with the planning, marketing and farm ownership issues. My father also instilled in me the quality of life that farming brings to our lives. He emphasized the ethics in farming and the importance of relationships.
He knew the importance of teaching responsibility and the work ethic that farming develops. He realized 'that a family that works together, stays together,' and would often use this phrase in getting something done around the farm. He would often say, 'Isn't this family together time fun?' He was a smart man, full of life and gave of his time for the benefit of others.
With his passing I now took more to Our Savior and Our Father God for his guidance. As Proverbs 3:6 states, "In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they path." Our Father has taught me to give thanks every time a field is planted and every time a crop is harvested. There are times when farming struggles do occur, but leaning on his guidance and word can generate a calming effect that often leads to a resolution.
In conclusion, sometimes you make decisions in life and sometimes decisions make you. I am so thankful that I have three fathers that were willing to let me follow them and give me the opportunity to be a farmer today.