Being a Farm Kid

December 16, 2010
By karlj BRONZE, Chapman, Kansas
karlj BRONZE, Chapman, Kansas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Hick, backwards, redneck, stupid, bumpkin. These are all fine names given to persons that work to feed and clothe the world by certain persons who have no idea what they are talking about. However, there are some people that know very well what it really means to live the life of an agriculturalist. Those that know the best are the ones that have grown up on farms.
Being a farm kid means that I know everyone within five miles of where I live. It also means knowing all of their quirks, and the quirks of their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. By just hearing a last name, I can usually assume the character of that person. We also have to overlook those things at times for the sake of neighborliness. Neighborliness takes on many forms, be it pulling cars out of ditches or clearing driveways after snowstorms, to taking food to a neighbor after a death or illness.
Being a farm kid also means having a sense of tradition. It’s being able to stand atop a windmill tower and see, in one broad glance, the farms where my great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and I, myself, grew up. A true farm kid calls areas by long gone one-room schools and pieces of property by the families that farmed the land in their parents’ youth, such as “the Teiges’ place” or “north of Liberty Center School (which closed in the 1940’s).” I can also walk through the local cemetery and know 99% of the names. Not only that, but I can also pronounce the pure German, or other nationality, names that trip up even the best telemarketer.
Being a farm kid instills me with a sense of pride. A true farm kid, while maybe a little ornery, will be a good person and a responsible citizen for the simple fact that a person should be. A farm kid finds the reaction people give when they figure out his dad has a master’s degree amusing. It also means taking pride in agriculture. A farm kid’s blood will almost always boil at the thought of animal activists and “pure food” yuppies.
Being a farm kid means being spiritual. In addition to being spiritual, the church is often the central social hub for the community and plays a big part in rural life. Be it 5th Sunday dinners, weekly church services, or Vacation Bible School, a farm kid’s life would be incomplete without church. But a farm kid’s spirituality goes much further than just words on Sunday morning. Farming brings together human and earth more than any other profession. Whether it’s watching a summer storm roll across the northern part of the county from a hilltop, or running among the rows of wheat, soybeans, or milo, farm life constantly fills a person with wonder at the power of whatever being put this silly planet together.
Being a farm kid means doing work. A farm kid may spend his weekends, summer, and free time doing any number of tasks, from helping with harvest to clearing brush out of a pasture. We are also expected to complete these things in a timely manner and with very little complaining. Farm kids will also find themselves at play amongst machinery and chemicals. They will soon learn to be safe, though, whether it’s by being yelled at for getting to close to the chainsaw or being told that the fly liquid that goes on the calves will kill you. I also learned that shorts mean scratched up legs, but I still wear them.
Being a farm kid means living a hard life. At an early age, farm kids realize that death is a fact of life, whether it’s the calf that wasn’t born right or the raccoon that got in the hen house. At times, it feels like the little valley that I call home and have, on so many occasions, been glad to see, is like an enclosure keeping me there. Farm kids also learn early about finances because farm parents don’t try hard to keep talks about money behind closed doors. While most kids won’t have to hear about complete financial devastation, it can be a little frightening at times.
When it comes to a social life, a farm kid’s is limited, at best, due to the seclusion of the country. My curfew is always 30 minutes sooner than what my parents say because it will take me at least that long to get home. There is also the age-old question for male farm kids: “Will you return to the farm?” Most kids don’t really decide what they will do when they grow up until their junior year of high school at the earliest, but farm kids are faced with this question from the time they can talk. And it’s no easy decision. While farm life isn’t easy, it offers a way of living that defines a person.
The next time you hear a person talking about hicks or rednecks, remember that farm kids are normal people. We might live a hard life, but that we enjoy it. Oh, and you’d be naked and hungry without us.

The author's comments:
We were asked to write a descriptive essay about something that we were passionate about, but that others many not know much about. I chose farm life because I feel many don't truly understand what it means to grow up on a agricultural production farm.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!