Celebrate your farm mom
While visiting my parents at Easter, I discovered a poem I wrote about my mom, Catherine, for my third-grade English teacher, Maxine Nabors. The local paper published it and those of my classmates for Mother’s Day years ago. Reading the saved clipping sent me into a fit of laughter and made Mama shake her head.
While my classmates waxed poetic about their moms’ beauty and kindness, I took the unorthodox route of starting my poem by admitting my misbehavior sometimes made Mama grouchy. I went on to say I knew Mama loved me because she fed me and made sure I took baths.
Finding that poem got me to thinking how God blessed me with a terrific mom. She wasn’t just a mom. She was a FARM MOM.
Anyone who has one knows what I mean. Farm moms don’t just multitask like most moms. They multitask on a supernatural level.
Mama rose every morning with my dad to cook him breakfast before he headed out to milk the cows. When I was about 10, she assumed the responsibility of raising the replacement heifers for the family dairy. She did at least an hour and half shift before taking me to school and going to her eight-hour “public” job.
When we got home about five-thirty each afternoon, we grabbed a quick snack and headed to the barn to mix warm milk bottles for 20-35 hungry, bawling calves.
Mama didn’t put her feet up when we returned from the barn. She pulled out pots and pans to “Whip up supper by the time your Daddy gets home.”
Growing up, I took Mama’s cooking for granted. It wasn’t until college that I realized all moms don’t cook. I naively thought everyone was chowing down on meatloaf or salmon patties with from scratch mashed potatoes, fried chicken with rice and gravy or spaghetti served with homegrown vegetables.
Sure, some nights Mama went the easy route with Hamburger Helper® or leftovers, but even on those nights, she was cooking with love.
Like most farm moms, Mama had a garden every summer. While some moms were hanging out by the pool with their kids, Mama was growing vegetables, then canning and freezing them for the next winter.
For farm moms, their “hobbies” are things most women consider chores. They grow gardens, feed cows, check chicken houses, pick up eggs, rake/bale hay, pick up parts for broken farm machinery or keep the farm records. You get the picture.
Farm moms are also usually very involved in their churches, communities and kids’ schools. They sing, play piano or organ at church, teach Sunday School/Vacation Bible School or serve as church clerks/treasurers. They support or serve on their local volunteer fire departments, school boards, or county commissions. They raise money for the football, baseball, softball, soccer, cheerleading or band booster clubs so their kids’ teams have money for new uniforms or to go on field trips. Oh, let’s not forget the hours they spend helping their kids with 4-H and FFA projects.
During my time with Georgia Farm Bureau I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of farm moms across the state.
You get in trouble when you name names, but I’m going to risk it and salute a few of the incredible farm moms I know through GFB: Ray Bloser, Wendy Boyd, Heather Cabe, Marcia Callaway, Teresa Chambers, Ellen Chase, Brenda and Terri Cooley, Linda Crumley, Angie Durham, Kim Edge, Lauren Grimes, Janet Gruel, Betty Harris, Kaci Marks, Mandy Moon, Angel Page, Lori Rogers, Melanie Sanders, Neely South, Rabun Waller and Carol Williams.
I know there are many more incredible farm moms out there. Georgia agriculture wouldn’t be such a strong community without them.
Monsanto is sponsoring a contest to recognize 10 outstanding farm moms nationwide. You’ve got until midnight April 30 to nominate your favorite farm mom to win $1,000 for the charity of her choice. Visit www.gfb.ag/18farmmom for more information.