The following article was written by Kinsley senior, Andrea Menard. It received first place at the Pratt Academic Olympics.
An Under Appreciated Life
by Andrea Menard, Kinsley High School Senior
Undercutter. Systems. Anhydrous. Sprayer. Baler. These words may mean nothing to you if you haven't grown up with rough hands and muddy boots. Well, I'm no expert on the subject but I can guarantee you that farming is a lot more than meets the eye. Growing up in small town Kinsley, Kansas, I knew that farming was a part of life. Everybody you know is either a third-generation farmer or is married to one. I always knew that they held a huge part of our world, but the word "huge" doesn't even scratch the surface. It is an under appreciated lifestyle. Yes, I say lifestyle because it isn't just a job. These men and women eat, sleep, and breathe their work. This summer, my outlook on farming was changed drastically, and I couldn't be more thankful that I was allowed to catch a glimpse of their world.
Farmers work hours and hours on end until the job is complete. Work starts at the break of dawn and sometimes they're out in the cab of the tractor to see the sun rise again. Just when you're heading home from a nine to five job, they aren't even thinking about quitting yet. Strong willed. They are the strongest, most determined people I know. Once they have their mind set, there is no changing it. When a job needs to be done, it's going to get done, come hell or high water. Putting food not only on their tables, but on the world's. Yet, they are still overlooked.
There is a special community disguised in dusty overalls and flatbed pickups. Farmers make you feel like part of a family that you never knew existed. Always willing to help someone in need. You can always rely on them, because if you give them your unfaltering trust, they will return the favor. They appreciate the little things, anything they are given is a gift. Under all these great characteristics, they are blessed with the greatest one of all. Over all the backbreaking work, long nights, and hot days, they remain incredibly humble. Through the eyes of a farmer, they're just doing their job. But to the ones who are lucky enough to recognize it, they are heroes. In my opinion, farming is the most honorable work to exist on this earth.
It is infuriating how some people don't appreciate them for who they truly are. I kick myself to this day for not realizing it sooner. I'm not saying that I understand all of it, because I know for a fact that I don't. There is so much more that I have yet to discover, and if I'm lucky enough to be able to experience it all in this life, I will. This article doesn't even cover half of what they do for our country, maybe not even a third. Although I only saw a portion of what they do, I can tell you it is a breathtaking matter. They deserve to know that they are appreciated beyond what cords can allow. They put their blood, sweat, and tears into this dirt. Running on faith, praying for rain, and giving their all every single day. A good friend of mine once said "It's the hardest job you'll ever love." and I couldn't agree more. SoKP here's to the farmers! Thank you all so much for what you do, we will never be able to repay you enough.