Editor's Note: We flashback to March 2008 and David Kragnes' first piece for The Sugarbeet Grower. Over the last 10 years, "Farmin' With My Dad" has been one of our most popular and requested poems of David's. We are happy to share it once again with our great readers and subscribers. We hope you enjoy this step back in time on a timeless piece of literature.
Strong men in plaid shirts and straw hats, pretty wives with hair tied in blue bandannas, suntanned kids, checkered tablecloths and cows or harvest equipment in the background. That's the picture many see as the family farm. While parts of that may not be precisely accurate for your operation, we are almost all part of a family farm.
It may be that the capital needed to start a farm from scratch is too huge. Perhaps aggregating enough land in one area for a viable operation is impossible. However, I feel the most important reason "farms are family" is the complex and diverse learning curve that is nearly insurmountable without a relative as a mentor.
I farmed with my dad for 30 to 50 years, depending on when you count the starting date. You see, I was heavy enough to hold down a clutch at an early age. I wrote this poem when he was still around. It meant a great deal to him. If you, like me, have too much stoic Scandinavian background in you to tell your dad, "I love you," just highlight this and leave it out where he can find it.
I miss him.
Farmin' With My Dad
Write Field column is written by David Kragnes. David farms near Felton, MN. He is a former Chairman of American Crystal Sugar Co., and currently serves on the board of directors of CoBank.