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Farmer Tan

Agriculture.com Staff 09/28/2007 @ 11:55am

Late last July, I had an assignment to do a story on how the dry weather had affected a farmer. A farmer about 10 miles from me agreed to let me ask questions about the how the lack of rain was affecting his decisions.

I had never met him but I had driven by his place many times. From the road, I knew he raised cattle and what kind of tractors he had. We set up a meeting for the evening and had a visit in his front yard. His wife was gone overnight so he was in charge of his daughter and son who were close by as we talked.

We had a very good visit about a variety of things and quit because the sun was setting and it was bedtime for his two children. I had my information and we parted.

I wrote my story and turned it in but there was something about our visit that stayed in my mind. It kept turning over in my mind and several days later on a long drive I was able to figure out why this meeting with someone I had never met was nagging at me. Then I was able to write this. I titled it "Farmer Tan."

I never met him before. His name was new
But he looked familiar as he came into view.
It was like looking into the face of my dad,
Reminding me of crops and livestock, he had.
Day after day, he worked without end,
Livestock to feed and fences to mend.
As much as he did, he was never done
Working outdoors everyday in the sun.
A cap on his head, I can see my dad now,
The sun on his face, the cap shading his brow.
Long hours in the sun was his daily regime,
His skin brown as a penny, forehead the color of cream.

With his daughter and son in his gaze,
I listened to this farmer tell of his days.
With cattle to feed and crops to raise,
He was busy farming in all kinds of ways.
With his son on his lap, held by his arm,
He told what he did these days on his farm.
He told me about planting last spring.
I listened, not wanting to miss anything.
He had a hay field he needed to chop
And sales he had made of this fall's crop.
Working under the sun each day, it did seem.
His skin brown as a penny, forehead the color of cream.

We kept on visiting as the sun set.
We covered lots of ground and weren't done yet.
We talked about ethanol and the price of land.
Had the dry weather affected the stand?
But it was getting dark and time to end.
I enjoyed the visit with a new found friend.
I drove away thinking of the time I had
Talking to someone just like my dad.
Our harvest will be here in no time at all
And the colors will change as we go into fall.
When winter arrives, the colors will fade like a dream.
Skin once brown as a penny, forehead the color of cream.

Late last July, I had an assignment to do a story on how the dry weather had affected a farmer. A farmer about 10 miles from me agreed to let me ask questions about the how the lack of rain was affecting his decisions.

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