As your combine, there are so many ways I think of you on the regular. From the weather to the breakdowns, nostalgia, family, tradition. The weather being my favorite, as well as getting to spend long days with you from sun up to sun down, when the brisk air and warm, bright sunshine poke out from the horizon. Creaking sliding doors bring a new day into the barn. I get excited and anxious when my farmer has a lunchbox and keys in his hands.
I wait (im)patiently as I sit in the barn, watching the leaves turn colors and the snow fall to the ground. As I feel pressure on my steps and the button pushed on my door, I know it is time to feed the world. The key turns and my engine rumbles to start. I am always ready for you!
Remember our first harvest together? Both so young and fresh to the industry, but we stuck it out. Our first day went smoothly, soaring through the field. At lunch time we sat next to the creek while I cooled off you ate a sandwich. Once you were done, I felt a pat on my tire and knew it was time to go.
Or our third harvest together, that tested our bond. It rained so much and I could see your frustration. After two weeks of trying to get in the field, we tried and got stuck. Sitting for hours until someone could come pull us out. I heard profanity I had never heard before! After an hour of waiting, the neighbor came to our rescue. I felt as if I had let you down. With a chain around me I gave everything I had, and with help, I got out. It ran me down, but I was ready to keep working for you.
I enjoy helping you teach your kids and grandkids how to drive the tractor. When I see them running to me, I can’t wait to be a part of their best memories with you. Sometimes they mess up and I jolt, but slowly they figure it out and we are going smoothly again. Hearing all your laughs means I’ve done my job.
I know I’m getting older and there are new versions coming out, but I will work till my very last pull for you. I appreciate you trusting me with your lifestyle. Being by your side is important and has created a bond where we see each other in a way others don’t. We work together nonstop as you even prioritize me over your own family and children sometimes. I know it’s hard and feel your stress and struggles. I’m here for you.
With my power in all its glory we work together to help feed the world. This takes long days that are hot and sometimes go wrong. You may lose your cool and yell a few cuss words at me because something breaks and I’m expensive, but I always try my best. At the end of the day, I thank the farmer for everything you do. Your strength, patience, caring heart and passion are inspiring and keep me going.
I never know what my days will entail but I am happy to soar through the fields knowing my job supports the world in numerous ways.
Michelle Miller, the “Farm Babe,” is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, writer, and social media influencer and travels full time to advocate for agriculture. She comes from an Iowa-based row crop and livestock farming background and now resides on a timber farm in North Central Florida.