It took a while for me to realize the majority of our country doesn’t know what it’s like to have a farmer as a father.
For years, I was under the impression most people grew up somewhere like my hometown of pop. 950, where most make their living from farming or an ag-related business.
It wasn’t until high school I noticed some kids had drastically different experience than my own. Many had never had tractor rides, tailgate dinners or livestock show memories. When challenged to write a Father’s Day post for the C|O blog, I decided to attempt to explain it.
First, let me tell you about my dad.
Gene Larson is an experienced, wire-thin man with an epic white mustache that says, “I’ve been around the block.” He’s farmed through the economic downturn of the late ‘80s, the drought of ‘12 and, most challenging of all, he survived raising a chatty, stubborn, blonde-haired daughter. He persevered with an endless work ethic and dedication to his family.
The thing about having a farmer father is that they’re not always present.
My dad didn’t make many of my softball games, we’ve never been trick-or-treating together and prom photos usually consisted of me dressed to the nines and my dad in his work clothes.
Farm families know farming isn’t just an occupation, it’s a lifestyle. There are no vacation days and no “clocking out at 5:00”. You just make things work (this is where an awesome farm mom comes in, but that’s another blog for another day).
One of my favorite stories to share with non-farming families is that of Halloween. You could say my Halloween was different than most. We could stop at the Hardy Grain Elevator on our way into town—dressed in costumes, of course. There, we would chat with Emily Hardy as she tried to convince us the grain bins were filled with candy corn while we waited for my dad to bring a load of grain from the field. After he emptied the wagons (or later, the semi) he would come in the scale house to see our outfits, tell us to have fun, and be on his way again.
To some, this would seem like I missed out on a bonding experience.
To me, that was my dad.
His absence taught me the value of hard work, devotion and perseverance. It taught me that sometimes you can’t be there, but it’s what you do when you are there that counts.
I will not forget the muggy, summer trips to look at crops and grab ice cream.
I won’t forget the long rides in our F250 hauling livestock to shows (and occasionally getting lost).
And I’ll never forget walking down the aisle with him on my wedding day.
This one’s for you Dad; Happy Father’s Day and thanks for everything.
Ann Horack, our assistant account executive, speaks for all of us here wishing dads everywhere a great Father’s Day.