Thank God for our farmers, with ranches and orchards, livestock and land, such a good way to live.
Traditions of hard work from grandfathers, grandmothers, passed on through our parents – they had so much to give.
Haying all summer, not much time to go fishing, working with horses, later with tractors, no cars.
They taught us persistence, best use of resources, to grow our own produce, preserve it in jars.
They taught fondness for animals, chickens and turkeys, dug ponds for geese and ducks, set hens on eggs.
The early spring season of lambing and calving means tiring night shifts, but so good to see them on their wobbly legs.
To start the day early, feed all the livestock, maintain their equipment, sharpen the tools.
When you’re close to the land, the weather’s important, completing the harvest or walking to school.
In the high country you can have snowstorms in August, but the green in the springtime makes up for it all.
New hay crops and blossoms on bushes and fruit trees, healthy young calves, lambs, a foal, standing tall,
The pride of his mother; so much satisfaction in caring for animals, raising a family, feeding them vegetables fresh from the soil.
So much to learn for successful mixed farming, but so many blessings, rewards for their toil.
How much I enjoy meeting the farmers every year at the North Thompson fall Fair,
Comparing their produce, hearing them talking, seeing the animals under their care,
Reliving the past on the ranch of my childhood, I almost feel young again, and wish I was there.
Editor’s Note: The above poem was submitted by Clearwater resident Barb Ferguson to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets’ Ode to a Farmer contest (as reported in an article in our Aug. 28 issue). Although the Times, as with most other newspapers, does not ordinarily publish poetry, we thought we would make an exception for Farmers Appreciation Week, Sept. 8-15.